This week I am taking a solitude vacation. Now you may ask what is a "solitude vacation". It's a vacation where you are 1) alone; 2) purposely trying to not talk to anyone; 3) seeking God's direction. This means, no cell phone conversations, no email, etc...Jesus sometimes when away to pray and was alone. In Mark 1:35 it says..."Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." Now I know most of us have our quiet times and know that it's critical to our walk with the Lord, not to mention our leadership roll. We can't lead others when we ourselves aren't setting an example. We can't lead if we are tired and worn out. We need time with the Lord to get His direction for our lives and our ministries. But my interest in this "solitude vacation" is more than just a quiet time, a day off,,,, its an extended time with the Lord. It's taking a sabbath a step farther. It's dedicating days to the Lord to hear from Him. And for me, its means shutting my mouth long enough to hear from Him. LOL I know if I don't take time to be alone, be quiet to hear from the Lord, then I am of no value to anyone. Do I think vacations where you are constantly going are good too? Sure, it has a place too in our lives. I think think any change of our environment or activity is good for us. It keeps us sharp, alert and ready to work for the Lord even harder.
I read a story years ago about a man cutting some wood. He had a deadline to deliver the wood. He kept cutting and cutting but the work got harder and harder. His ax has started to go dull. He was told to stop and sharpen his ax. He replied that he didn't have time. That he had a deadline. But as he continued to try and cut the wood with a dull ax the work got harder and harder and as a result he wasn't able to meet the deadline. He not only fell short of the work he has promised but he was physically in bad shape. He couldn't even enjoy the fruit of his labor. The moral of the story is that we have to take time to rest, refreshed and renewal in Christ. I am working hard at taking a sabbath every week..even if only a half of day. Yes, its not perfect yet but neither am I. It's the journey of trusting the Lord with each day, solitude and all.