Yes, I probably should be thinking more about the great things our forefathers did over 200 years ago than I am … but I'm on vacation, and that puts me into a totally different mode! So let me say that I truly do appreciate our country - its structure … its history … its freedoms. And I am very thankful for all who have served, and continue to serve, to create and preserve the opportunities we have here in the USA … including the opportunity to function in Vacation Mode.
As a child growing up, Vacation Mode meant going on trips - doing things and seeing our great land. We had a small Apache pop-up camper (the smallest of small - with canvas sides) to house the four of us. Over the years we traveled to NYC and Montreal (World's Fairs), the Smokies, Grand Tetons and Yellowstone (just to name a few). Those first two weeks of August (break time on our wheat, navy bean and sugar beet farm) were active - and very special.
Now, as an "older adult", Vacation Mode has a very different meaning … and it seems like it has had this definition for quite some time. It is a time to slow down … slow way down … and be refreshed in different - yet strikingly similar - ways. It includes time on the laptop getting organized for the year ahead, and daily hour-long walks through the wooded streets. It also includes long hours in the sun, refreshing beverages and tasty barbeques, along with the reading of many books.
No matter what the activity level, Vacation Mode is designed to refresh and stimulate body, mind and soul. It is a time for reflection, and increased appreciation of relationships. It is a time that is also filled with mediation and prayer. It is a time that I truly treasure ... and claim that I "need" to function effectively in doing the things God has designed for me to do (Ephesians 2.10).
This year, in light of my age and some new thoughts gained from "Younger Next Year" (Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge), I am trying to continue my meager attempts toward increased physical fitness even while on Vacation Mode. My thoughts start with "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, whom you have from God" (1 Corinthians 6.19) and progress to Jesus saying, "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26.41). The health of body, mind and soul truly are connected to each other - even while in Vacation Mode.
Solomon put it this way, "Do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones." (Proverbs 3.1-8)
Did I mention that I am in Vacation Mode? I think I'll just stop right here, and let you figure out how any of this might apply to your life. I want to get back to reading "Simply Jesus" by N.T. Wright.