Our girls are out of school for spring break. And a glance at my April calendar suggests there are more than 30 days worth of commitments on it already. So I am planning a few days off next week.

Relaxation doesn’t come easy for me. But once my Sunday duties in Chattanooga are done, I’m ready to switch gears. The crack of a bat and the pop of leather will do the trick come Tuesday afternoon.

While on work-related travel last week I encountered several families in the Atlanta airport who were headed to various destinations such as Orlando or cruise ship ports. The excitement on the kids’ faces (and, in most cases, on their parents’ faces too) suggested high expectations that had been building through the winter.

Such times can enrich our lives and give us a fresh perspective on the rat race we rejoin in just a few days. Never mind that most of us over-plan what is supposed to be a restful experience.

And it doesn’t take too many cruises to discover that last night’s “seaside salad” looks a lot like the first night’s “Neptune salad” — and that if you’ve seen one straw market, you’ve seen them all.

The cruise director on the ship my family enjoyed last fall noted that we travelers are prone to ask stupid questions like:
“Do these stairs go up or down?”
“Does the crew live on the ship?”
“Is the toilet water fresh or saltwater?”
“Does the ship generate its own electricity?” (Image a long extension cord trailing back to the Florida coast.)
“What’s formal wear?”
“If the pictures taken by the ship’s photographer are not marked, how will we know which ones are ours?”

Of course, vacation is a time to rest our minds as well as our bodies. It is a concept that goes all the way back to the great story of Creation.

The pastoral care pioneer Wayne Oates, who coined the phrase “workaholic,” called taking time for rest and play a “major spiritual discovery.”

I’m ready.

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