What’s the last thing you pack for a holiday?
What’s the thing you easily forget?
I reckon it would be my toothbrush. You’ve got to leave it out till you’ve used it one last time before you go.
Or it could be my pajamas. I must sleep in them and it’s all too easy to get up, get dressed and leave them behind instead of packing them in the suitcase.
In both cases I fully intend to take them. I’ve even added them to my packing list now, so I don’t forget them. With one last check of that list before I leave and lock the door, I can quickly sigh, thank my list and run back to my room and grab the toothbrush or the pj’s.
On that list for my holiday suitcase might also be some reading material, hat, sunnies and of course my travelling coffee kit. A holiday with bad coffee is a bad holiday. But Something that may not even get on the list is one’s Bible. One’s prayer list. Unless you put it on that list too.
The Bible and prayer list are probably the things that get skipped on most people’s list for a holiday.
Why is it so easy for me to drop this habit?
You see it’s holidays and holidays are meant to be time to liberate ourselves from all routines. Poo-Poo anything that vaguely resembles the mundane routines of the non-holiday life.
Holidays are for rest, for fun, for zero routines…aren’t they?
Until you realise that the way you relax fastest is by creating a holiday routine. It happens stealth fully without you even being aware. Then you brag to your friends about how every morning you…then for lunch you…and then you went out for… and then you would always spend time playing…at night with the whole family. And guess what, you just recreated routine…on holidays…shock! Horror!
All this means that routines are good for us and are Not the enemy of life and fun and rest.
Which brings me back to that often guilt ridden and slandered routine of regular Bible reading and prayer…coming anywhere near the mention of ‘holiday’.
When friends pack to travel the world for 9 months, I’ve always tried to encourage them to pack a small Bible and prayer list and think about some way of finding a new routine…with all the travelling time there’s going to be oodles of slack time, some of which could easily be used for reading and praying.
But now with a family, kids and shorter holidays that really do get jammed up with, well, fun, pretty quickly…I’m finding it really hard to read my Bible and pray regularly when on holidays.
My most recent family break, I had my Bible, and some prayer aids, but I probably only got 2 or 3 sessions in over about 10 days.
Then I started feeling off.
I was like a guy who used to go to the gym and eat healthy foods every week, but now completely stopped going, sits on the couch in front of the sports and eats donuts for lunch.
Ok, I don’t actually do that, but that’s how my holidays sometimes make me feel, spiritually.
Spiritually it felt like I was all withered and barbed, standing alone in a vast, vain, emptiness. My own ‘Joshua Tree’.
What TO do for your next holiday to fight away the holiday blues
So next holidays, my Bible and prayers will be with me again, but I need to embrace a new time, a new place and a new pleasure in reading my Bible each day. I think the time is the hardest…finding a new moment that’s not at the end of the day (we’re too busy eating and having fun and staying up late). Perhaps it’s mid-afternoon, after a snooze and a coffee to wake me up?
What's going to be your new holiday routine?
But that’s holidays, and the next one is way off so, thanks for the tip, right?! Anything else that could help me right now, Stephen?
Now that we’re all getting back into ‘routine city’ and our day jobs again, I want to get your family off to a flyer in 2018.
I know, some families don’t read the Bible together. Some leave it to church, school or the kids themselves. But the reality is that parents are the first level, God’s instrument for teaching and sharing God’s word with their kids.
Family devotions are a super important routine, though often overlooked or sporadically attempted only to be abandoned as being too hard for many parents.
Family devotions aren’t always easy and we parents need fresh ideas and ways to engage our kids and make the time in God’s word a pleasure not a chore. Man, I’ve been there.
That’s why I developed a fresh approach using short videos for families to use. They inspire discussion and are fun, plus they come with bonus activity sheets for the kids to complete and stick up on their doors.
You can check them out on anton's course page:
(Note: depending on the season, sometimes we close off the free trial due to another promotion)