Vacations and God

Vacations and God - Parenting Like Hannah

Church at a hotel right outside the main gate of Disney World

We are in the middle of a school break. Many of our friends are out of town. We stayed behind only because we leave town on a big mission trip in a few weeks. Vacations are a great way of connecting with the people who are important to us. Often we are able to see many of God’s wonders of creation as we explore the world on our travels. I even enjoy seeing the talents God has given people displayed in artwork and architecture.

I also know vacation is a time when many of us also take a vacation from God. We run around to the point of exhaustion. We are too tired to pray or think of mentioning the connection between God and the things we are seeing to our children. If we are away on a Sunday, it seems silly to waste valuable vacation time at a congregation we picked blindly out of a telephone book.

We rationalize that we don’t know anyone, the preacher will surely be boring and we will get nothing out of the service anyway. Instead, we think, we can enjoy God’s creation while we play in the ocean or get home earlier and do laundry before the new week starts.

Our family tries to attend services whenever we are out of town. If we are in a place where going to church is impractical, we have family church. We are often pleasantly surprised at the blessings we receive from attending a new congregation. We have run in to old friends whom we haven’t seen in years, enjoyed some interesting lessons and even been given a loaf of freshly baked bread (my daughter still asks if we can go on vacation there again!). We have even worshipped in Spanish and French.

Even when the service is not inspiring (or in a language we don’t really understand), we are glad we made the effort to attend. We know that by going to the “trouble” of worshiping God while we are on a trip, we are teaching our daughter God always comes first. If she can absorb the principle of considering what God would want before she meets her own wants, her life as a Christian will be so much easier. If she learns worship is about worshiping God and not about amusing herself, her worship experiences will be much richer.

Next time you are on vacation, use Google or the telephone book and find a group of brothers and sisters to visit. Enjoy worshiping God as a family of Christians. You may be surprised what blessings flow from your decision.

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Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV)