A Vacation Education

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This column is late because I took two weeks to get away. Week one I spend running around like crazy at the Marine Raider Association’s annual Reunion. It’s always a busy time, but a good one, and this year was no different. As things ended up I’m now more involved in the Association than ever before. Not what I had planned but ok.

That’s my usual kind of vacation, going nonstop checking lots of stuff out and coming home happy but worn out. You know the kind of vacation that you need a vacation to recover from? That’s usually me.

But the second week I spent up in the state of Washington. I had no set plans other than taking the ferry to Canada one day to cross that country off my list of places visited. Otherwise it was catch as catch can, take things one moment at a time and a just relax time.

It nearly killed me.

I slept in the first day and got shown around the area of Port Angeles by my friend who lives up there. Then the next day I went to Canada which was good. But because I hadn’t really planned anything I got off the ferry and found myself at a loss. Things ended up well as I explored a huge museum there (and bought a cool t-shirt I’m wearing as I write this), and just walked around the harbor enjoying the local musicians and the sights and sounds.

It was an education I continued the next two days as well. I felt like I was being taught an important lesson. But it wasn’t an easy one that’s for sure. So the next day I took a local historical tour of the Port Angeles underground (very cool) and the next day I hiked over 8 miles in the town and surrounding forest.

It was great in between my many bouts with my anxiety about “not getting anything done.” Who knew I was so uptight and driven? I was told by someone at the Raider Reunion I tended to drive myself pretty hard. But honestly I don’t see myself that way at all. Hmmm… perhaps I’m wrong about that one?

Maybe that’s what vacations are really all about anyway? Not just getting away, enjoying yourself, losing your stress, etc. but learning things about yourself that you might not be able to learn otherwise. When you slow down it’s amazing what pops out of you.

Aside from some great ideas I’ll be working on implementing in my life and ministry I also learned that I still have a whole lot left to learn. Especially about myself and about living life one day at a time. I was also reminded that I need to make sure I take the time to enjoy the gifts each day brings because most of them don’t last long and might not ever come again.

That’s a truth that permeates all of life now doesn’t it? We’ve all got one life and we don’t get to do it over again. You can’t skip ahead and you can’t rewind either. You can only live in the moment you’ve been given right now.

So I hope that amidst the working on what’s needed for this day and planning for what’s coming next we don’t miss the joy and grace that life itself is designed to give us. Because if we do we’re missing an awful lot of what life is all about.

So, as the old saying goes, “Seize the day,” enjoy the day, and live as best you can right now. I believe that’s one of the things that makes life worthwhile not just for ourselves but for everyone around us as well.

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Louie Marsh is pastor of Christ’s Church on the River on the Parker Strip. Visit the website HERE.

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