Genesis 2:2,3 – And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made: and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
Ecclesiastes 5:18 – Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.
The words from our text in Ecclesiastes (which means Preacher) were written by Solomon about 1000 years before Christ was born, but I am glad I remember them today. The principle of slowing down "to enjoy the good of all [our] labour" is one we can keep in our minds as we embark on long weekends and vacations, and perhaps the holidays will really give us the rest we need.
My husband and I were travelling to a golf resort for our vacation this summer. We were entered in a tournament of about 30 couples for four days. We followed the map given to us by the organizer and the way seemed simple enough. The throughways were well marked; we were happy to get away from the hustle and bustle of work; we didn't think we had forgotten anything; and our handicaps were respectable! So why were our stomachs rolling, our nerves on edge, and we were beginning to snap at each other? We travelled along the highway with everyone else, bumper to bumper, going 120-130 km/hr. We talked about all the activities we wanted to fit in these four days. We were hungry as the lunch hour had passed, but we didn't want to stop, for fear of losing time. Drivers who wanted to go faster were veering in and out of the traffic.
Remember the verse from Genesis? We did. We took the next cut off and found a new route on our map down country roads and through small towns. We stopped for lunch and continued on to enjoy the beautiful scenery of farms and landscape in full bloom. We talked and also enjoyed a companionable silence as the miles rolled by. We were very surprised when we arrived at the resort only half an hour behind the others! The next four days were a real vacation as the Lord slowed us down. (For you golfers out there: I'm still trying to apply this tempo when I have a slow foursome in front of me — but I'm not succeeding yet!)
Prayer: Lord, let us remember that you told us to rest, to enjoy our labours, to smell the roses. Be with all those who are travelling on vacations this summer, keep them safe, give them rest and let us all renew our faith as we take this time out. Amen.