BY REV. JENNIFER HESEBECK
EXCELSIOR & ZION UNITED METHODIST CHURCHES
During this time of year, families are preparing for vacations. They are planning for get-a-ways and time to spend with loved ones and friends. I want us to remember that even though we will take a break from work and school, we can't take a vacation spiritually.
Where does God want you to go with Him during this summer break? What journey does He want you to take that you may discover His grace and power more now than you ever have?
We don't go on our summer trips without making all the necessary arrangements, so what kind of preparations are you making for your walk with God?
Think about how you begin to plan your summer vacation -- first, you need to decide where you are going. Next, how are you going to get there?
Whenever anyone takes a vacation, they travel by plane, car, bus, train, bicycle, motorcycle -- there is a mode of transportation to get from one place to the other. What is your mode of transportation for getting from where you are with God right now to where He is calling you? Get out your map (Bible) and start making decisions and plans on what it's going to take to get you to your destination. Just like we ask our GPS for directions, ask God to show you the way and tell you what you need to get there.
And don't be afraid to consult a few travel agents, or people who have made similar trips. Just because our Sunday School programs take a break for the summer, don't stop going to worship to be with a community and family of believers. They can help you with what you'll need for your journey. Advice on what to pack? No problem. Tools you may need along the way? Check.
When planning our route, we count on our friends to tell us about great restaurants and clean gas stations, so how about asking someone you trust how to refuel your spiritual tank as well? Where do I go? What do I do? How do I make my summer break a great experience? And just like when we're asking about vacation ideas, listen to the advice!
When a travel guide tells you to bring plenty of water, you do. When a parent tells you to pack extra underwear, you do. You're sure to have medications, cash, credit cards, and cell phones when leaving for a trip. If your neighbor reminds you to take your camera, you double check to make sure it's with you. If you're going boating, you take your life preserver, right?
Do you give the same attention when a brother or sister in Christ says you should check out the summer prayer group? When the youth group needs volunteers to help plan a Fourth of July picnic? When the pastor recommends a new devotional for the beach season? When the choir director tells you how much your voice adds to the harmony of the music during worship? When you need the kind of life preserving only Jesus can offer?
Please remember to make God a part of your summer plans. I pray that you experience something so wonderful that you might suggest the journey to someone else looking for a great destination.