Today is our last day of vacation. Later this morning we will start the long drive home. We’ve been away. It’s been a time of refreshing. There was a time for me when this was a day filled with dread, but these days, not so much. Oh, it’s not that I haven’t enjoyed being away, because I really have. It’s more that, other than the aforementioned drive home, I really do enjoy what I’m going back to. We stayed in a condo at the beach this year. I don’t know how it is in your part of the world but around here, hotels at the beach have become so expensive that you can actually rent someone’s vacation home cheaper than being cramped into a way overpriced hotel room. I do like this. All the comforts of home with none of the responsibilities.

Every year, I stop to wonder, “Could we do this?” Could we buy a little place and rent it out most of the year, allowing others to pay our mortgage? After all, my wife and I love the beach. The answer is probably not. I’m not sure that would be good stewardship, and besides if it was ours, would it still feel as if we were away? In spite my love for all I do all year long, there is something to be said for time away. It’s a time to rethink and reassess. It’s a time to read and think and pray. It’s a time to let your mind wander and imagine. It’s a time to ask “What if?” Sometimes stepping away for a week is all it takes to get a little quieter and find that idea that change everything.

The truth is, I love it here, but I couldn’t live like this. Everything is more expensive, the food is richer. (The one thing I dread about “re-entry” is getting on the scale.) I’ve often wondered if this place would be as special if I was here all the time. Yesterday I saw a pod of dolphins playing, and most likely feeding, at the place where the bay feeds into the ocean. I could have watched them for hours. I never want to get to the place in life where that is ordinary and, dare I say, boring. No, I’ve been away, I’ve been to see and experience something I really enjoy. I’ve been away. I’ve rested and thought. I’ve dreamed, and I’ve imagined and been inspired. Now it’s time to take that, and do what I can to see some of the things I’ve dreamed become real. I’ve been away, now it’s time to go home and do what create a better reality for the people I’ve been given to love.

At the end of the day, that’s the real purpose of being away, isn’t it? To get recharged so we can go back and make our part of the world, that blessing from God we call home (for now), a better place for the people He has given us to love. I think it is.

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