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As you read this blog, I am likely riding a boat down the canals of the Riverwalk of San Antonio, Texas, or maybe I’m taking in the glorious stories of a tour guide with a strong Texas drawl about the battles of the Alamo, or I could just be rolling out of bed, sipping on my second cup of coffee. Any of those is perfectly fine by me.

See, this week, Heather and I are on vacation. This is a delayed 25th anniversary trip from two years ago. In 2019, we bought a house, so the trip was postponed. In 2020, …well, that’s all I need to say about that. So here we are in 2021, getting away on vacation for a time of rest, solitude and renewal.

Vacation. Time away. Rest. Solitude. Believe it or not, it’s biblical!!  Many times in the gospels we read of Jesus going away on His own to be in solitude. Sometimes He was praying, while other times, we are unsure of what He was doing, maybe just resting. Maybe just getting a time out from the travels with twelve smelly guys that contained two sets of siblings, a Zealot and a tax collector who likely hated each other at first, and a mixture of people from all walks of life.  Here’s the truth, I would have likely given up on this rag tag group, or at least asked for more vacation!!!

The Gospel of Mark, often noted for being the “hurry up” gospel – the author uses the term “Immediately,” or “at once,” at least 39 times – is a great reminder of the urgency required for Kingdom work and yet also the importance of slowing down and even stopping to refresh, renew and rekindle the Spirit.

Mark 1:35 - 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.

This is one of several instances of Jesus leaving the group or the crowd to find a quiet place, and I think it is one of the many great things Jesus taught us, not with His words, but with His actions!

We need quiet time! We need solitude with God! We need time for our minds and bodies to be renewed, refreshed and rekindled with the energy and passion needed to fully complete our Kingdom calling.

Maybe yours is with a cup of coffee and the Gospels each morning. Or maybe it’s with your spouse on your knees in prayer.  Or maybe it’s in a bigger way by stepping back from the hurriedness of life for a week or two.
Whatever it is, don’t take it for granted and don’t disregard it.  Make time to unplug. Make time to disconnect. Make time to renew. When you do, you’ll realize you are more effective and have more to offer the Kingdom.