A vacation from God

It’s been almost a month since I’ve posted and, disclaimer here, I’m not promising any wondrous words of insight for this one. The reason for my break in writing is simply because I took a family vacation. As amazing as it was to steal away for days, without screens or internet access, spend quality face time with my husband and son, and take in the beauty of the northwestern United States, there was a void throughout it all.  Another easy call for what I was missing: my daily Bible reading routine.

I’d like to say that, in all the free time I had on a vacation, much of it was utilized to maintain my communion with God through the reading of Scripture. I cannot. I struggled to get through single chapters in the book of Matthew each day, which is surprising since we all know how rich Matthew is for Christians. There was nothing pressing that kept my reading to this minimum, just a change in routine, I suppose. I felt disappointed in myself that I’d chosen to neglect what I most often refer to in my blog posts: daily in-depth Bible time. What a hypocrite.

As per usual, I looked for some meaning for this unfortunate failure and I’ve realized two things. Most importantly, the desire and drive to not allow anything to compete with consistent communion time with God is only by His grace. We can strive to spend allotted hours reading Scripture and meditating on His Word, but His will always supersedes ours. Even when our will is well intended and beneficial for our well being, He may have other plans.

The other thing I came to realize was that I lack compassion for those who aren’t in His word on a regular basis. This isn’t to say that this neglect is any more excusable, but perhaps, just more understandable. Whether we’re caught up in the daily grind of forced busyness, or exhausted from actual lack of hours in a day, or just plain refusing to give God the face time He deserves, these are all still excuses. Lame ones at that. Having this period of lameness myself was humbling.

During many of the days on the road, I wondered, is this unsettledness going to stay? Will I be able to go back to the Bible when I return home and reestablish a routine? Is this emptiness what others feel when they’re not engaging with God through His Word, where the lines that are truly straight become jagged and confused? Is this why there’s such an influx of depressed and anxiety-ridden believers among us?

As these questions came and went, I wholeheartedly understood that the advisement to read the Bible, everyday, with fervor, is clearly not a works-based directive. As I allowed each day to pass, knowing that I’d neglected Him, it wasn’t guilt towards God that overwhelmed me. It wasn’t as though I wasn’t following through on my end of the deal and forfeiting my faith. It was the growing distance between us that gnawed at me. It was how seamless my exit was becoming. I’d only hoped that He’d draw me back in, because in all honesty, there’s nowhere I’d rather be than where He’s had me for the past few years…close to Him, letting Him be my mind’s guide, and relentlessly pursuing a deeper knowledge of Him through Scripture. I wasn’t in fear of losing my salvation or the faith that sustains me, but more so, that my hunger for Him would go on strike and my desire would become disinterest in the only relationship that really matters.

A vacation from God was not my intention, but it is what happened. Now that I’m back home, my hopes are that I’ll be able to pick up where I left off and, perhaps, write blog posts that reflect that. Until then, I’ll be working on being less of a hypocrite and being less lame by practicing what I preach, without excuse.

 

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