July is a month to reset and recharge around in my world. Vacations and other change of pace moments are just what the doctor ordered for a busy six months of the year. I am, in fact, currently away from a beach trip! Don’t worry…I wrote this on Friday of last week while I was still “working”. 🙂
Travel and time away can be the perfect time to reassess things in your life. It is amazing what distance does for your perspective. In fact, Edwin Friedman in his book Failure of Nerve says that it is imperative for our emotional well-being to regularly move away from the urgency of the moment to gain a perspective of where we are and where we are headed. It is much like arriving by plane in a city and gaining a viewpoint of the surroundings that pulls them all together.
We often found Jesus doing just this as he pulled way for times of silence and solitude after busy seasons of ministry. I always think that if something was helpful for Jesus then it would be most helpful for us too!
I do not believe we have to put “gaining a new perspective about our day to day lives” on our to-do list for vacation though. In fact, that is counterproductive! What I have found is that it happens naturally. As we allow ourselves mental and emotional distance from our day to day lives our perspective about the day to day is often reset. God has designed our minds to work deeply even as our attention is focused
on something else. That is why you get breakthrough ideas in the shower, or on a walk, or just about anything else that allows the mind to rest.
So while we do not have to add “gaining a new perspective” to our to-do list, we would be wise to add “take a break” to it! Moments of rest such as Sabbath weekly or vacations at other times are God’s way of keeping us ready for the work that is in front of us.