THERE AREN’T MANY VACATIONS going on in the Bible. At least not many that are reported.
Bible folks were herders, farmers, and merchants for the most part. Those were year-round jobs except for people rich enough to hire workers or buy slaves to do their work for them.
I’ve wondered if there’s a correlation between all the rotten family problems in the Bible and the near-nothing vacations.
If King David had taken his kids on vacations to fish in the Sea of Galilee maybe his oldest son wouldn’t have raped his half-sister, maybe the sister’s full brother, Absalom, wouldn’t have murdered the rapist, and maybe Absalom wouldn’t have launched a coup to dethrone his dad – and to die trying.
The closest thing to a vacation that I can find in the Bible comes from Jesus.
He went on retreats with his disciples.
“The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught. Then Jesus said, ‘Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.’ He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat. So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone” (Mark 6:30-32).
He went on retreats by himself, too.
“Large crowds came to listen to him teach and to be healed of their diseases. But Jesus would often go to some place where he could be alone and pray” (Luke 5:15-16).
I’m thinking if the divine Son of God needed to get away once in a while, so do we.
My wife and I developed the habit of taking a family vacation every year.
Our kids remember them, for better or worse. Usually for better, I hope.
But there was that one time in heavy traffic in an unfamiliar city when I asked my wife if I should turn left or right with about two seconds to spare, and she answered, “Yes.”
I know families that never or almost never took vacations. Their grown kids are not happy about it. Not the grown kids I know from those families.
It’s okay to take a break from work. One of the Bible sages, who sounds like an exceptionally smart guy, put it this way:
“One handful of peace and quiet is better than two handfuls of hard work and of trying to catch the wind” (Ecclesiastes 4:6).
A former coworker of mine summed up his relaxed attitude about work this way:
“The company will work you as hard as you’re willing to work, until you die. They’ll go to your funeral. Then they’ll go back to the office and say, ‘Next?’”
For more about work and vacations
- A working grunt’s Bible song
- One day off work, for a kind deed
- Bible tip for reducing vacation stress
- Complete Bible Handbook, pages 236-237
Bible Gateway Blogger