Getting away from it all

Jesus went to a secluded place
I like my life, don’t get me wrong. I know I’m blessed. I’m grateful, truly.

But every once in a while, my body starts to almost itch with the weight of it all—the pressures, the responsibilities, the never-ending to-do list. Know what I mean?

That’s when I realize it’s time for a break. Not to sound hokey, but that body itch? It’s really my soul crying out, “Help!” I need to schedule-in a getaway, pronto.

Now, left to my own devices and with zero budgetary constraints, I’d probably high-tail it to Disney World or hop a flight to the Big Apple or some really awesome destination (Bahamas, can you hear me?). But most of the time, I’m not exactly flush with cash.

That’s when I turn to simple things, like a quick overnight trip to the mountains.

The mountains are my happy place. I love being out there in nature, out of touch (or somewhat so) and able to let my mind go free. I love the smell of the forest and the feel of my calves as I hike to the top of some amazing mountain, or even the rush of danger about whether I might run into a bear or a panther or some other creature not typically found in my normal suburban existence.

But it doesn’t have to be the mountains. Your happy place might be sticking your toes in the surf and sand at the beach, or riding a horse—or a motorcycle—full-throttle across the plains. It might even be a day in bed with some outstanding coffee and your nose in a book.

Wherever I go, I always come away refreshed and renewed. I’ve put the world and its demands on hold for awhile and focused on what’s really important: time in creation with my Creator, basking in His wonder and letting my soul wind its way back to where it needs to be.

Now, some of us feel guilty at times for “needing” a vacation. We think we need to keep our nose to the proverbial grindstone, keep our minds and bodies focused and sharp. But take a look at Scripture, and you’ll see: Even Jesus supported a getaway.

As it says in the Gospel of Mark, “The apostles returned to Jesus and told him everything they had done and taught. Many people were coming and going, so there was no time to eat. He said to the apostles, ‘Come by yourselves to a secluded place and rest for a while.’ They departed in a boat by themselves for a deserted place” (Mark 6:30-32 CEB).

And in the Gospel of Luke, “But Jesus would withdraw to deserted places for prayer” (Luke 5:16).

God commanded that humans take a Sabbath each week, a day to focus only on God and refresh their souls without work, pressures, or major responsibility (Exodus 20:11).

Today’s fast-paced existence sometimes makes us feel like we need to be machines, not humans. But we are humans first, created by God for a divine and holy purpose.

When we feel that itch, friends, listen!

Until next time, stay armored up.

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