Graduations have/are taking place, the weather is warming up (somewhat), and that means that soon school will be out for summer. As summer approaches many have already began planning their family vacations (my family got an early start this year). It seems like every summer we see many of our own gone for at least some part of the year. For some it might be a trip down south to enjoy sandy beaches somewhere, for others it might be to head to the mountains to enjoy Godís creation there without the hassle of two and half feet of snow. Still, for others they make plans to go to see family. And finally, for others they are looking forward to a staycation. They donít intend on going anywhere, just take a few days off to get that important home project done. Whatever it is, we are all making plans. Garden plans, game day plans, project plans, etc. I think these are all wonderful. I myself have plans, big plans for the summer. I have two half marathons, I want to do one day of Ragbrai, as mentioned earlier, we had an early head start on our family summer vacation. However, these plans are not the most important plans we can be making this summer. For many, summer is a time of relaxation, and sadly for many that also means relaxing on their relationship with God. In I Kings 18:27 Elijah mocked that Baal might have been on a journey, on vacation and as unavailable to answer their prayers. We know this of course to be mocking. It is a mock, because we donít expect our God to go on vacation. We expect him to always be there for us. Likewise, we must remember that when we are on vacation, we cannot just stop being a Christian. Jonah learned this the hard way. He couldnít flee from the presence of God. David put it like this, ďWhere shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me (Psa. 139:7-10). God is found everywhere we go. So, are you making plans to worship God wherever you go? Dawn and I worshipped with the saints in Dubuque this past Lordís Day. The church is small (only three members), without a local preacher, or any women at this time. My family made up 2/3rds of the attendance that morning. I know it was a small church. I know that they wouldnít notice if I went or not. But I also knew God did know. We went, not to be men pleasers, but went to glorify our God. I knew of a family that while vacationing in Canada drove over two hours to find a local church. They made plans to worship God and changed their vacation plans to accommodate their time with God and his people. The reality is, churches actually benefit from seeing visitors. Just consider how we feel when we see a new face (or even a familiar one) here? We are uplifted and encouraged. We enjoy getting the opportunity to talk to the saints there, to hear about their work, and they enjoy getting to hear about the work where you are. Why would you rob God of what he is due? And why would you rob Godís people of encouragement that you can provide by being with them. Or course, my family did not just make plans to worship God on Sunday. In our home, the worship of God is a daily thing. We study the bible, pray together, and sing together daily. Our nightly bible study did not cease because we were on vacation. In fact, it continued and intensified. Because we were letting the kids stay up later we didnít feel the crunch of a time clock pushing us to wrap it up quickly. I encourage you to make plans this summer to draw yourself and your family closer to God. The reality is this trip for my family was all about that. It was an opportunity to pray, study, and mediate upon God and his word. We have had such a difficult year, we felt the need to go to a secluded place and pray as our Savior often did (that is not to say we didnít have fun while away). But, our recreation was not just about fun and games it was a true re-creation. I encourage you to make plans this summer to draw yourself and your family closer to God. Get up early on a Saturday morning, find a secluded place by a river and pray.
Grinnell church of Christ
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