Vacation is a time
of rest and relaxation
Spent with friends
Vacation is a time
of fun and jubilation
Spent with family
But the best thing
is not having
to go to work
No matter how
awesome a job might be
a break is needed
and brings perspective
Filed under Family, Life, Poetry
I love to travel, but flying is not my favorite. I do like to travel by car and we have done that a lot, including for our vacation to the Redwoods this past week. My favorite is to stay in rustic cabins, but quite often we tent camp.
Even as a kid, all our vacations were camping vacations, although we had a trailer instead of tent camping. Sitting by the fire this past week my husband and I were talking about camping as kids. I told him about the trip my family took from southern California to Ohio and back when I was about 10. My sister and I rode in the back of the pick-up with just a canopy above us and foam pad to sit on, as we pulled our trailer. Describing the trip, my husband asked, “Are you sure you weren’t homeless?” I laughed. “Yes,” I replied. “We came back to the same house we left so I’m pretty sure we weren’t homeless.”
One thing that car trips now and camping vacations as a kid have in common is what I call Traveling Sandwiches. They make traveling by car much more affordable because you don’t have to stop and pay restaurant prices for lunch every day. There are also many varieties of such sandwiches, so today’s recipe is just one kind.
Bread (whatever kind you like best)
Lunch meat (in sealable packages)
Cheese (in sealable packages)
Mayonnaise (in squirt bottle)
Cooler with ice
Container to carry bread
Paper towels or plates
As you drive along and lunch time is approaching, find a nice picnic site along the road. Set up one paper towel or paper plate per sandwich on the picnic table. Place bread on each towel or plate. Squeeze mayo on each slice of bread and spread with butter knife. Put desired amount of meat, cheese, and pickles on each sandwich. Serve with chips, or with fruit or vegetable slices that were also in the cooler. When you are done, toss the garbage in a trash can or pack it with you if there is no trash can. And now you are ready to get back on the road.
Vacations can be fun and exciting, relaxing or exhausting, long or short. Before a vacation, I anticipate what I will do on vacation, the places I will go and people I will see. Before my recent vacation to New York, I purchased tickets for a Broadway show and to climb to the crown of the Statute of Liberty. I made hotel reservations and airline travel plans. I thought about all the places I would eat and how I would get around the city. I felt restless and looked forward to a break from my routine at home.
But it didn’t take long for me to feel homesick. Regardless of the destination or the planned activities, vacation can make me grow weary and long for the routine of home. While in New York, I longed for the restfulness of my own bed and the quiet of my own home. I longed to sit all day in my chair at work instead of walking what seemed like endless miles along the busy streets of New York and through museums and parks. By the time we were ready to leave I really, really just wanted to go home.
Yet my “home” in Oregon is not really my home. It is only a stopover in a long journey to my real home. I think the anticipation of going on vacation is similar to the anticipation of going to my real home. I have faith that someday I will see my true home and will grow restless and weary no more. The author of Hebrews wrote of a number of Biblical characters who traveled the journey of life led by God towards their promised home, living in faith that God would deliver what He had promised.
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:13-16.
I am an alien and a stranger here on earth. While I am here I will enjoy the journey; I will make and fulfill a multitude of plans. I will grow restless at times wanting more; I will grow weary at times wanting less. And someday I will get to the point that I just want to go home. I’m not to that point yet, but when the time comes I’ll be ready for the true rest and joy of my heavenly home.
The Christian band Third Day sings a great, rockin’ song called “Other Side” that speaks to this idea of a better place. The chorus and second verse are:
Take me to the other side
‘Cause I need something better
Take me to the other side
‘Cause I want to live forever
One thing that’s for sure I know
This won’t be an easy road
Let me ask before I leave
Won’t you come along with me
Where is your true home? Are you an alien and stranger here on earth? Do you know that God has much greater things in store for you when this journey is over? I’m going there some day. Won’t you come along with me?