Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:30-31 NIV)
Dear Cambridge Family & Friends,
Almost every year our family travels to a state or national park to do a little ‘X-treme vacationing.’ This generally includes activities such as hiking, biking, trail running, kayaking or canoeing, horseback riding, and/or other outdoor sports. This year my daughter talked me into free climbing which basically entails climbing up the side of a ledge and then realizing once you’ve started, you can’t chicken out and climb back down. Often I’m exhausted at the end of the day (‘Thank you Lord for Hot Tubs!”) and although I often stumble, fall, flip, slip, and slide, there’s something about the cool mountain air and refreshing waters that keeps me invigorated and looking forward to the next day’s adventure. (Did I mention Hot Tubs?)
Often people will tell me when they return from Holiday (a highfalutin British word for vacation), they need ‘a vacation from their vacation.’ Quite candidly, I think one of the reasons folks get so exhausted is when packing, they forget to take the one thing that can help alleviate their stress, fatigue and frustration, and energize their body, mind and soul – that one thing is their walk with the Lord. The prophet Isaiah delivered a message from God that confirmed the inevitability of human fatigue and imperfection. He was saying, “Look, everyone gets tired, burns out, worn out and frustrated, but those who keep their focus on the Lord are able to go the extra mile.” This is true with our faith, and we need to take God and our relationship with Jesus Christ with us, wherever we go, whether on vacation or when we’re back at home. Here a few suggestions to ‘renew your strength, physically, mentally and spiritually.
Include some physical activity and adventure in your vacations. Find a climbing wall or at least take the stairs in your hotel, go swimming or snorkeling (and not just tanning), walk or jog around the lake or along the beach, do a bike or walking tour, or just go exploring. Even at home, you can investigate around where you live to see what good and healthy things you can get into. Make your return from vacation, a kind of New Year or even better, ‘New You’ resolution.
Don’t forget to ‘take the Lord on vacation with you.’ Pack your Bible and focus on a particular scripture for the week (perhaps Isaiah 40: 30-31). Spend at least five minute in the word and in prayer each day. Journal your thoughts. Use some of your supposed time of rest to ‘rest in the Lord.’
Don’t get so busy, you forget to take in the awesomeness of God’s natural creation and beauty. This past vacation, I got so busy riding my bike that I almost forgot to look up and be awed by the majesty of God’s handiwork. Too often we take our surroundings for granted, and forget to appreciate and praise God for them. Look around where you live, work, play and vacation; even a city park points out the art of God. Thank your Creator for His wonderful creations and take a moment of contemplative prayer.
I sincerely hope you get some well deserved rest this summer. Enjoy your vacation and/or even a long weekend relaxing, and then come back Refreshed, Reinvigorated and Renewed with a passion to make a difference for the Kingdom.
In Him alone,
Cambridge Baptist Church