Friday, December 17, 2004

Vacation

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..."

2 comments:

ostrichisagooddinner said...

I struggle a lot when I rest Nate. I feel like I need to always be doing something; even on my rest days, sanctioned by Genesis, I feel that I need to have a schedule to try and uphold. It is SO difficult to just kick it guilt-free. I don't know why that is. Well, maybe I do, because I do know everything.

The american culture is all about being busy, working 60 hours a week, and then doing a crap-load of crap on the weekends, all worn out for another grueling surge of official work to get to the next "restful weekend". It is so odd. A response I am starting to slightly detest, is "Dude, I'm sorry, I can't, I'm just too busy." Does anyone ever just say, "Hey, I know you want to hang out, but I just don't want to." The cliche answer always seems to be "I'm too busy." Which is so lame in my opinion, because it is the victim mentality, as if the person talking about their business is NOT in control of their schedule.
Learn to build rest into your schedule, and be honest when someone asks you to do something. Its really fun.

Marisa said...

The summer of 1988 was the first summer (in a very long time) that New Orleans had no drownings. To celebrate, all of the lifeguards gathered at a huge party. There was music, dancing, eating and drinking. At the end of the night, as the crowd started to dwindle, someone looked at the pool and there is was. A 31 year old man was lying at the bottom of the pool. Someone jumped in, pulled the man out and multiple people attempted to revive him but he was dead. He had drowned in a pool surrounded by hundreds of trained and certified lifeguards. (True story!)

Moral: It is okay to celebrate but always keep your eye on the pool! Rest, have your fun, but never forsake ministry.