In recent weeks, my Facebook news feed has resembled a travel promotion brochure.
Filled with images of airports, road trips, boats, enviable destinations, food indulgences, beaches, museums, spectacular nature, multitudes of ‘selfies’, lazy days, sunshine, snow, national parks, books, relaxation etc. etc., it would seem that a number of my Facebook friends seem to be currently having the time of their lives.
In just two sleeps I, too, am going on a short holiday and, while my destination may not be as exotic as some destinations, it doesn’t diminish the fact that I am very much looking forward to it.
Ideally, a holiday is a time when we are free to do what we want. A time when we can guiltlessly avoid work, ‘to do’ lists and household jobs. A time when we can enjoy the company of family and friends, travel, relax, get out into nature, do
In a sense it may sound luxurious, but God himself designed holidays and we don’t actually have to wait until we have annual leave to enjoy this blessing.
The dictionary definition of the word ‘holiday’ states that it’s ‘an extended period of leisure and recreation, especially one spent away from home or in travelling’, or can relate to any special day of rest or relaxation. Examining the etymology of the word ‘holiday’ tells us that it comes from an Old English word hāligdæg; hālig ‘holy’ + dæg ‘day’ and was originally used to refer to special religious days.
The Hebrew word ‘Sabbath’ literally means ‘to cease’, so even today God encourages us to take time for rest and relaxation, with a ‘holy day’ for ourselves every week—how blessed are we? Just as God rested from his work of creation on the seventh day, we are called to take time to rest from our day-to-day occupations and refocus on what’s really important.
In our busy-ness of life, ministry and being there for others, it can become all too easy for us to fail to take the gift of a ‘holy day’, or some hours in our week when we can be refreshed and renewed. Remember that a Sabbath enables us to push our ‘reset’ button.