Friday, December 17, 2004
These last few days have been very interesting. I'm not complaining...that's for sure, but I have had mixed feelings about this time here in Kauai. I realized that this is the first vacation that I've had in eight years. Yeah, I've travelled all over the world leading mission trips and I've had an occasional weekend jaunt here and there, but is it really a vacation when while sitting at Wrigley Field all you can think about is how I should be getting caught up on my History of Christianity reading or while I'm driving to San Francisco to see the Giants play, I'm memorizing Hebrew words? I hardly think so. The past few days have been wonderful. I have been reading like crazy. I am devouring books. If the pages were made of cookies, then I'd be the Cookie Monster. I didn't think that I'd want to read this much, but it has been great to read mindless novels. But something else has been nagging at me...Goz calls it "Phantom Homework", but I feel like I should be doing something. I feel this invisible weight on my shoulders. Can I really have no agenda for the day? Is it O.K. for me to wake up and go surfing, then drink a margarita and hot tub, then go horseback riding, then have another margarita and then fall asleep in front of the television? I know that there is nothing to do, but I almost feel guilty being here. As you are reading this you are thinking, "No way, Nate, you deserve this vacation." Or maybe, "Everyone needs a break every now and then." I know you're thinking that, because those are the things that I keep thinking, but then I think, "Did Paul take vacations? Did Jesus tell the disciples, 'Hey, guys, I'm heading off with Mary (sliding reference to the recent Da Vinci Code upheavel), and we're going to the Med for a little vaca. Please don't try and contact me. Petey, you and JonJon take care of all the healings and demoniacs. Oh, and Barthalomew, make sure the boys don't fight about who's better. You know how those boys are always bickering. If anything really bad happens, like Lazarus dying, don't worry, I'll be back in a week and I'll take care of it then. If you really need anything go to Martha, she'll definitely fix you up something to eat and give you a place to stay.'" I'm pretty sure that Jesus didn't do anything like that, but then I realized that just because I'm on vacation doesn't mean I can't be doing ministry. If my life is truly to be a living offering, then I need to be doing ministry here. Whether it is to my mom, dad, sister, or brother-in-law or to the random guy I meet while surfing, I can do ministry. I can be a witness here. On this beautiful island. In between sunning and surfing, I can be a light for Christ. Then I think to myself, "Should I really move to Czech, there are plenty of lost people right here on the beach, maybe I'll just stay here..."