After a busy day yesterday, page 151 was a day of relaxing and I even slept in and missed the sunrise this morning. 🙂 There are two osprey nests near where we are staying on vacation — one of them is on a communications tower that is visible from the property that we are staying at and the other is on the corner of a rooftop on a hotel overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. I went out for a little while this morning to photograph the closest nest of them and when I got back, Susan was up and ready for the day so we headed to the beach for the rest of the morning. Sometimes the hardest thing to do on a vacation is rest, but we worked hard on making that happen today. The water was warm and the breeze pleasant. Susan even went out in the water several times and eventually was comfortable enough to stretch out and “swim”. We eventually left the beach to get some lunch then spent the afternoon at the pool before heading out for a walk to get ice cream. The ice cream held us over until I could grill hamburgers for supper, then we headed back to the beach to watch/photograph the sunset. Not a bad vacation day at all if relaxation is the desired result.
Today’s photo is a beach scene from this morning with a couple beach chairs just waiting to be sat in. As Jesus walked the earth, we read of times when He would withdraw to lonely places. He also would take His disciples away from the crowds at times so they could all rest. I suspect that sometimes our times of rest aren’t as restful as they should be. Our rest isn’t really rest but simply a change in the type of activity that fills our life. Vacations tend to wear us out because we fill them with great recreational activities but often fail to include the rest we need. Jesus and His disciples didn’t withdraw from the public aspects of ministry simply so they could wear themselves out with fun activity, they withdrew so the could spend time resting and spending time with their source of strength — the disciples with Jesus and Jesus with His Father. When I plan a vacation that includes both fun activities and times when I can simply rest in the presence of God’s Spirit, I find that I return home more fully refreshed than if I simply go away with the sole purpose of having a good time.
I pray that you and I would recognize the difference between rest and recreation. I know that may sound strange but many times we find ourselves worn out and can’t quite figure out why because we think that because we’re not working, we’re resting. I pray that we would live life to the full because of our relationship with Jesus. I pray that we would enjoy the times we are able to add fun activities to our life. I pray that we would not so overfill our lives that we find we have not time to actually rest in the presence of God’s Spirit.