Listen to what I have to say here. I’m an expert. I’m writing this in the best possible frame of mind and at the best possible time: on my last day of a refreshing vacation that has come off the heels of the busiest, best, and more exhausting year of my life so far.
I could write a top ten list, the top ten reasons to prioritize vacation and rest. But I think I can help you the most by simply communicating the single greatest reason to take a vacation.
Are you ready?
Here it is: Vacation reminds you that you are not what you do.
Does that make sense?
Vacation helps you keep your identity straight. During a good vacation you vacate from your work, from what you spend most of your year doing. Vacation reminds you that your identity is not to be found in your work, your doing, your performance. Vacation helps you remember, in perhaps the most memorable of all ways, that as a Christian your identity is found in the God who loves you on the basis of grace (you are not loved by God on the basis of your work or performance).
So, when you’re perfectly at rest, on vacation and accomplishing nothing–absolutely unproductive–those are the moments when the undeserved love of God can slip into your head and heart in fresh, new ways.
Yesterday my wife and I made arrangements for next year’s big vacation. How about you? If you’re scared of vacation I think the fear runs deeper than you think.
Justin Buzzard is founder and lead pastor of Garden City Church, a church plant in Silicon Valley, and author of the books The Big Story: How The Bible Makes Sense Out of Life and Date Your Wife.