I can’t sleep. Have you ever uttered those words as you lay in bed, tossing and turning, trying to count sheep – as the old adage goes; yet you are wide awake? Perhaps there is a looming question you are trying to get an answer to? Maybe something happened in your family, friends, or your life, that causes great worry? Or, you are trying to obtain something that consumes every moment and thought, to the point of interrupting your sleep. Could it be time for a vacation? Or staycation? The vacation I am referring to is not the typical one we all think about, spending money, packing a suitcase, selecting a destination, and making reservations. The vacation I am referring to is, stepping back from the situation to re-group. I recently came off a 10-day vacation, and it was worth it.
I realize there are things in life we cannot take a vacation from. However, we can carve out time to get alone with God. Whether it be by opening the Bible and reading a few verses, having a five minute conversation with Him, saying a prayer as we drive to our destinations. Often I’ve had to look at my own life and if I cannot carve out at least 10 minutes to spend with God, I need to take a look at my schedule and priorities. One time I remember one of my friends told me, “I keep my bible in the car, and at a red light I’ll read a few verses.” I was impressed. To his amazement, reading a few verses did not take as long as he thought it would. When life takes hold of us, and we feel like we are on the Amtrak of life racing on the rails, maybe it’s time for a “vacation.” Recently, AAA sent out an email that captioned, “Where will you go next?”
Isn’t that the million dollar question when life throws you a curve ball? Where to go next? What to do next? When will the next event in my life get here so I get out of this one? The key word is “next” whenever there’s a curve ball. Oxford American Dictionary defines the word next as, “2. coming nearest in order or time or sequence, soonest to come. My vacation came with the question AAA reminded me of in their email, “Where will you go next?” With them the question was pointed to their beautiful, online, brochure of lovely vacation destinations: crystal clear, blue, pristine waters; mountainous, rocky, snow-capped, landscapes; or riding in a Jeep across a dusty terrain, with a guide to the dense, dark, brown waters surrounded by large animals attempting to take in every drop, because the next rain fall couldn’t be determined. My vacation wasn’t that descriptive. Instead, my where will you go next was poised around letting go of my situation and allowing God to handle it. It began with the words, “You got me into this mess – You can get me out of it. I’m on vacation.”
So began my vacation. There was a sense of relief, and as I shared my decision that night with one of my best friends she laughed and commented, “I’m sure God is saying, ‘Well. It’s about time you stop trying to take control and let me do what I do best.”’ I needed a vacation because my mind was troubled. I could not sleep. And, I was trying to take control of the situation. Can you relate? Have you been there? Or, are you there now? Throughout the books in the Bible there are several people that found themselves troubled. In my words, probably needed a vacation too. One we will look at is in the Book of Daniel, king Nebuchadnezzar. He had a dream that troubled his mind so much that he could not sleep. The King James Version says, “Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.” Dan. 2:1 KJV. It wasn’t he couldn’t sleep, his sleep actually brake from him – left him. Today, he may have asked; what’s next? What do I do with this dream, this situation? Where do I go next? When we find ourselves asking those questions, God gives us the answers.
Jesus says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a rest.” Mt. 11:28 MSG. The most well-known Psalms, Psalms 23 in verse two says, “He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.” When we go on vacation with God we will find our much needed rest. When we find rest we come to realize that we are “complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.” Col.2:10 NLT. He is in control, he is the one that owns it all, and every animal of the forests, and the cattle on a thousand hills, every bird, for the world is mine and all that is in it. Ps. 50: 10-12 NIV. On a smaller scale, whatever you own – you control. God owns it ALL, therefore He controls it ALL.
When we find ourselves worn out, tired, burned out, and say where will we go next? Let’s take a vacation with God. When it’s over, may we be able to say as King Nebuchadnezzar, “At the end of those days, I Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven and my sanity returned to me. Then I praised, and exalted Him, because all his works are true and his ways are just.” Dan. 4:34-37 HCSB.