Pastor's Blog

Vacation Lessons Posted 4.15.2016

Vacation.  What does that mean?  A week of no hassles?  Sleeping in?  Reading? Dinner out?  Beautiful scenery?  Yes to it all, in my opinion.  But what do they all have in common?  A focus on me and my pleasure.  Now, we do need a break sometimes to recharge the batteries, but we can also put some pretty lofty expectations of that break.  So with high expectations of pleasing self, last week I set out with the family for a quick trip to Mammoth.  The kids can snowboard, while I see snow from a distance.  It was too early to fish, so we’ll have to head back in the summer.  Too bad, right?


The views were amazing.  The skiing was apparently great.  But life followed us on vacation.  It has a way of crowding in sometimes.  Danny caught a cold.  Someone in Indiana used my hardly-ever-used-Visa to increase their personal supply of stuff, wracking up a couple of grand before the credit card company stopped the madness.  Life caved in on my personal time away.  The next day, someone in Jakarta used my ATM card for some withdrawals – directly from my personal checking account.  Really?  And I had to even pay some foreign transaction fees.  But, folks….I’m on vacation…can’t life just leave me alone?  No.


We headed home Thursday afternoon so I could do a graveside service on Friday morning, only to stop at Chipotle in Van Nuys to avoid some LA traffic.  By dawn on Friday life again crashed in once again.  We couldn’t even have those last couple of days of relaxation we had planned. That morning began a food poisoning ordeal that lasted at least three days.  I was never far from the restroom.


The problem with our expectations for a break is that life will often follow along with us, nipping at our heals.  We don’t always get the escape we think we so desperately deserve.  We want our own personal pleasure.  I think that’s why we actually long for the coming of Jesus.  If He’ll just come back, then the ultimate vacation can begin.  We can tour the galaxy and put all this “life” stuff in the rearview mirror.  Isn’t that our “blessed hope”?  The ultimate of personal pleasure.


Uh, not exactly.  Our “blessed hope” is not a hassle-free existence.  Our blessed hope is that we get to see the Savior.  Life’s about Him, not crossing some threshold into an eternal vacation.  Our hope is to see Him.  Face to face.  Forever.


The Bible says that when Jesus returns, there will still be some work to do.  What?  The day of rest is coming, but we will have some special assignments during those days.  It ain’t no vacation.  The reward for faithfulness is ruling with Christ, and ruling requires some work and effort.  The second coming is not an escape, but it is full of hope because of Jesus.


So hope in His coming because you get to see the Savior, not be free from life’s hassles.  It’s a good lesson for today as well – keep our expectations on living for Jesus, so when life interrupts, hey, it’s OK, because it’s all about Him anyway.  By the ocean or in the mountains.  Or even back in the office.

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