everybody should be able to have a break from their regular routines…to get away from their day-to-day…to rest and reflect and gather perspective and breathe the fresh air that comes from a break from responsibilities. even if it is only for a little while.
i am so grateful to have had this time away. to say i deserve it is baloney. none of us deserve any of the good receive. i know people who work hard every day of their lives and never get breaks. they need to work to simply live. i know people who work jobs that don’t let them take time off. i know people who would gladly change jobs so they could work more, in order to have food on their table.
in my first 18 years, i can only remember one family vacation. one.
my father didn’t have the luxury of taking time off. we didn’t make enough money to go on trips and stay in hotels. as a carpenter, he had to work all the time and if he would have turned down a job so we could go on a family trip, someone else who step right in and take his job. it was that cutthroat.
so trust me. i am thankful for the life i have and the times i can get away and come back refreshed. or at least try to. here are a few things i’m thinking from the “vacation” part of my trip tonight:
first, besides being over-the-top grateful for the opportunity to get away…and also recognizing that i don’t particularly deserve it…i am really mindful of the need for it. there is to be a certain rhythm to the way we live our lives. the balance between work and rest was established by god himself. it was present at creation. it was woven into the commandments. it was modeled by jesus. there is always to be a time to step back.
second, i have had the greatest friendships anybody could ever have. relationships that span decades. and the opportunities i get to reconnect with my past serve as bold reminders that if we invest deeply and profoundly in each other’s lives, time and distance and separation will never become the enemy.
third, whenever we come back to southern california, after moving away seventeen years ago, we are always asked things like “do you miss living here?” or “do you think you’ll ever move back?” the answers are yes and no. of course we miss living near the beach! it might not be true for everyone, but the pacific ocean is still one of the most spectacularly beautiful and majestic landscapes on earth to me…and i can’t believe i had the opportunity to live here (and near here) for the first half of my life. talk about getting something i don’t deserve!
but i don’t ever see us moving back here. and get this…i don’t want to. lewisville, texas is my home. it’s where we have dug in and taken root for as long as we can see. and beyond. do i wish we had some socal beach weather back on the grand prairie? who wouldn’t? do i wish all my southern california friends…and their children…would pack up and join us to do church together in the land of smoked brisket, chicken fried steak and friday night lights? i can only dream.
that leads me to my last thought…
i love living in texas. both of our boys call it home. they are married to beautiful texas girls who call it home. we have two grandkids who love us and i think they would probably be pretty sad if we ever moved away. i get to spend life with some of the most awesome people in the world. i wish my old friends could meet my new friends. you would like each other.
and after years of never quite fitting in the churches we served, i am finally no longer a square peg in a round hole. i am where i need…and want…to be.
this has been a good time away. but i can’t wait to get home.