My father-n-law and I are the most jittery vacationers you’ve ever seen. If we are on the beach at all during the beach vacation, it’s because we have a ball or float in our hands, because otherwise, you may find us on motorcycles or the boat. And if you find us still for longer than a few minutes, it’s either because we’re asleep, or I’ve finally gotten into a book.
We are wrapping up the last “vacation” for the summer (my wife is a teacher and we intend to use this season as an opportunity to recharge) and I’m ready to get back to work. I’m realizing that the most important thing in the world to me isn’t relaxation or comfort, it’s hard, rewarding work. We all know that the most satisfying things in the world are the hardest to get.
I’m not saying relaxation is bad or meaningless, because it’s not. But the best kind of relaxation is the kind where you come back actually craving work. It makes sense; we aren’t supposed to make this world our home; we are supposed to cultivate it, make it the best world we can, and then wait for the redemption of the world by its Maker.
I realize the value of motivation, that burning desire to go crush it. I know that is important, but I often don’t have the discipline to nurture it. Because for me, if I work hard straight through the year, I slowly lose motivation and become the worst version of myself that I can imagine. So yes, rest is very important to bring that motivation.
But not all rest is the same. I read a quote the other day that said something about how stillness externally doesn’t equal stillness internally. That there is a big difference between rest and rest, and that’s something we have to prioritize and fight for.
I also see that left to myself I will burn out. I am driven and obsessive so if I get myself focused on a goal, I won’t let up until it’s done. But that’s not healthy for anyone, especially someone with a chronic illness. Ever since I’ve been married I’ve been learning to come home from work, finish the task list for the day, and then STOP. To schedule in intentional rest where my body and brain are not only at rest, but are being refreshed. Sometimes that’s TV, but most of the time that’s using my brain to intentionally consider something bigger than me. Goals.
Those goals are what align me to my purpose, and it’s that connection that gives me the focus and courage to stick myself to a trajectory. Without a clear picture of my goals, I feel lost and lose momentum. Without a clear connection with my Maker, my goals are self-referential, shallow, and fake.
So this entire season of vacationing is a huge reminder of my priorities: to plug into the Maker daily, rest in Him, listen to His voice and hear His purpose for my life and develop goals, and then establish routines to stay plugged into that (more on those routines and rituals later).
I’m also finally getting back into writing, which is a terrifying place to be. But I know this is part of what God is calling me to do, and there is so much I feel like I need to say. So this post is a facilitator of that momentum. I also am seeking traditional publishing and have secured a great opportunity that I will tell you about when/if it pans out.
For now, I thank God for the freedom to vacation, to enjoy His creation and His gifts, and I doubly thank Him for the desire to get back to work—to have meaningful work I enjoy and people to share it with. Now that’s worth writing about.