By Jim DeAngelo
With the summer in full swing, kids out of school, and family vacations abounding, we set out on our annual 4th of July extended family vacation. This year we went to the lake rather than the beach and spent seven days in the sun. During these trips, we get the chance to connect with our adult children, their spouses, grandchildren, and the friends they bring along.
These times can be stressful with all the activity, changed environments, hard beds, sore muscles, late nights. Old conflicts can surface, and, if given a chance, they can damage our relationships rather than renew them. We have a choice on how we provide an environment for renewal. We need to ask ourselves if we remembered to bring Jesus on the trip.
I struggle with being who God designed me to be if I don’t spend my daily personal time with Him. Spending quality time first thing in the morning works best for me. When I make God the priority and put Jesus on the throne of my life, I find that I can be the patient, understanding, helpful, loving servant I am called to be. When I am who God designed me to be, being the leader, the whole family does better and we connect and share in a much deeper way. When I fail to lead, the connections become more about the activities instead of the relationships we have with each other. The enemy can get an opening and conflicts can surface.
Having fun and doing exciting activities is great. Most of us desire adventure and change from the routine. Yet what I remember most about these times together are the connections and time we spend in loving each other. These are what I think about when I recall my time spent on vacation. And it’s only through Christ that I’ve found it possible to do this in a meaningful way.