GRINDING TREE STUMPS or lying on a beach. That was the vacation question this summer.
I chose to grind tree stumps on a stretch of rolling hills where Mom lives, in an Amish-built house on what used to be a Christmas tree farm.
It’s not that I’m a workaholic who can’t vacate, or a do-gooder who can’t say no.
I’m my father’s son.
When Dad and Mom drove the 800 miles to visit me and my family each year, Dad came expecting to help us in whatever way he could. He’d prune our trees. He’d chop down the messy weeping willow. He’d buy us a riding mower and then cut our grass with it…and the grass of the widowed neighbor, without asking her permission. She approved after the fact.
By nature, Dad was a giver. A helper. A doer, and not so much a talker.
He didn’t do stuff so he would get praise, or so he could praise himself in blog articles like this. He did it for reasons I doubt even he understood. When he saw a need and he knew he could do something about it, he usually did something about it.
This is a guy who would drive out into Northeastern Ohio snowstorms to help people who got stuck. He’d take his Ford, a chain, and his homemade jumper cables that I inherited. He didn’t charge anything. He just did it.
Don’t get me wrong, Dad knew how to vacation. He would take his wife and five kids camping each summer. We pulled a fold-out tent camper behind the station wagon.
I did much the same, taking my wife and kids on vacations every summer of their life. I have the videos to prove it.
But the older I get, the more of Dad I see in me. I enjoy the fun stuff, like he did. But I also enjoy what many would consider the backbreaking, bug-bitten, boogery jobs. Like grinding stumps.
For one, the jobs are a change of pace from sitting behind a desk week after week, researching and writing books.
For another, I get to lend a hand to people I care about. In this case, Mom, who lives with my sister and her husband. I love working alongside my brother-in-law.
He deserves a Proverb in the Bible. Something like this:
What joy to work beside a kindred soul
Who sweats and grunts and bleeds for those he loves.
There are times when we all need to relax on a vacation.
But there are times, I believe, when the best relaxation we can experience comes in the sleep that follows a job well done.
For more on vacations
News flash: I got a pallet of books
I just got a bunch of giveaway copies of my August 1 release, A Quick Guided Tour Through the Bible.
I’ll be adding this title to the list of books people can choose when they become one of my weekly winners.
I pick names at random from the list of subscribers to my free blog and newsletter. Thursday’s winners will get the first crack at advance copies of the new book.
Bible Gateway Blogger