How to go on Holiday!

The holiday season is upon us and by the time you read this I hope that the August weather will be looking as good as it was for us in June and July. For some it is easy to be away on holiday, whilst for others, our bodies might be away, but our mind and feelings are still back at home and work. How can we go on holiday without struggling to switch off checking e-mails, texts, face book and Whats App messages? How can we not carry the burdens of our normal life to wherever we go or whatever we do for a break?

Some find it easy to go and be on holiday, while others (rather more of those I have met) like the idea, but struggle to make it work. I used to believe that holidays were for a rest. Isn’t that what everyone says ‘Have a good rest’? However, I now realise that for me, whilst rest is part of a holiday, it is not the whole story. Holidays are for renewing relationships and re-creation as well as a rest.

Rest: I need to disconnect and rest from normal working life. And that is more difficult today in our hyperconnected world. For me a rest from work means no checking emails, no glancing at Facebook groups (leaving devices at home helps!) and no preparation for church things. But I’ve also learnt it doesn’t mean not reading a stimulating Christian book alongside some relaxing novels, or not taking the opportunity to go to church and talk about my faith. A Holiday is rest yes, but not denial of things that stimulate me.

Relationships: For years, I couldn’t work out how to be a Christian and pray on holiday. I wanted a break from my normal pattern, but all too easily that became doing nothing at all. Now I normally find a devotional book to read at the start of each day and read something simple on my own or with Rebecca or the family. It is simple, doesn’t take long, and is renewing. A Holiday is about renewing relationships where the word originates from holy-days.

Re-creation: What recreates me will be different from what recreates you. I am an activist by nature and achieving energises me. Realising this helped me to see that on holiday I still need to achieve something. I connect my achievements to things that re-create me, and I make sure they are not the sort of things I achieve at work. For example, I like to do some of my nice home ‘jobs’ that I never have time to do at home e.g., sort out my photographs or do my scrap booking. A Holiday is about re-creation so can include being active and achievement!

So how can you go on holiday? We are all wired differently but we each need to think about how we are wired to find what makes holidays work for us. If you’re an ‘activist-achiever’ like me, lying on a beach all day just won’t do it! So, it is good to plan and find ways that embrace who we are and ensure we still rest, renew our relationship with those closest to us and enjoy some re-creation. Finally, we will of course find ultimate rest when we rest ourselves in God:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11v28-30

With my prayers for a good holiday this year

Revd James – Rector St Peter’s Bishop’s Waltham and Blessed Mary, Upham

24th July 2023

Filed under
James' Blog