6/22/2017 by Calvonia Radford
When was the last time you took a vacation?
Let me think about it. My husband and I went away for a few days in March for our anniversary. Unfortunately, I cannot pin point the last family vacation we had. I think it was several years ago.
As a pastor’s wife, over the years we have spent too many of our vacation days attending denominational conventions and other similar events and not enough on family adventures.
Sprinkled in between those annual dates we have scheduled an occasional family trip. Which was usually nestled in a holiday weekend so that I would not have to use all my leave time.
One of my favorite songs is The Cats in the Cradle, by Harry Chapin. Actually, I have a love/hate relationship with the song because it pulls at my emotional strings.
The Cats in the Cradle is a heartbreaking song about a father and son who cannot schedule time to be with each other. It addresses a cyclical dilemma, which begins with a workaholic father and then transitions into an adult son who is too busy to go visit his dad.
The phrase that rings in my ear most is “But we‘ll get together then, You know we‘ll have a good time then.”
Those lyrics pull at my heart because my children and two of my grandchildren are now adults. I wonder how many precious moments I missed when I was working on my career or doing “The Lord’s” work. I wonder how frequently they would come visit me if their visits were determined by how much time I spent with them when they were children.
God expects us to work. He says if we don’t work, you don’t eat. I Thessalonians 3:10
He also created us to serve him. Rick Warren says, we are designed to make a difference AKA do “The Lord’s” work.
“God has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do”
(Ephesians 2:10b, TEV)
Sometimes we church folk have difficulty discerning between God’s calling and man’s calling which promotes less family time.
I pray that I made time to make indelible memories with my children and deposit some nuggets of wisdom they can carry with them the rest of their lives.
When my daughters asked me to accompany them on a one week vacation this July, I hesitated.
“Seven days! I’ve never take off work for seven days.”
“Your daddy’s not going? You want me to be away from him for seven days? The only time we have been apart that long was when I went on a two week mission trip to Kenya.”
Then it hit me. I felt like I was struck in the head by a foul ball at a major league baseball game. Right between the eyes.
Someday is not a day of the week!
One day, my children will be entwined in life; marriage, child-rearing and the like. They will struggle to pencil me in on their calendars. Ouch! It hurt to type those words. I feel the lump in my throat and the heaviness in my heart that my parents and grandparents have felt. Sometimes God calls us to enjoy life. Enjoy your family!
Go, eat your bread with joy, And drink your wine with a merry heart; For God has already accepted your works. Ecclesiastes 9:7
It is a cyclical dilemma.
So, I said yes to the invitation. I gave myself permission to go. I give myself permission to be away from home for one week. To allow my work emails and voicemail to fill up until it takes me two days to weed through them. I give myself permission not to plan any church related projects.
This is a time of making memories. It is a time for uninhabited fun, quality time and hopefully some R&R.
“We’ll get together then, I know we’ll have a good time then”
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