I often wonder if life will ever slow down. Is it my fault I’m so busy or is it just part of my job as Pastor, father, husband, and community volunteer? Am I missing out on what’s most important? What will it take to reel it all back in?
I sit today looking out over the Atlantic Ocean–finally on vacation, and finally able to sit still. The two year old is down for a nap (finally) and the other three kids are scattered out around the beach house reading, sitting in the sun, or watching a little TV. It seems we’ve all needed what I am calling a little R&R (rest and rediscovery).
The needed rest is obvious by all the lying around I’m witnessing. The rediscovery is something I hope that will become apparent by the end of the vacation. Rediscovery is what we all need. Let me explain.
Too often, in the ordinariness of the daily school-year routine–rushing the kids out the door in the morning (hopefully with teeth brushed and sack lunch in hand), picking them up in the afternoon and listening to “I’m starving, what’s for dinner?,” while rushing to gymnastics, piano, soccer, and everywhere in between, then home again, maybe dinner around the table (maybe not), baths/showers, teeth brushed again (hopefully), dad in the rocking chair with the baby, mom lying down with the 7 year old–we forget that we are more than housemates, but we are a family.
Throughout the school year, it seems, we become too individualized with our own needs and own schedules. Even the weekends become more about what we need as individuals than what we need as a family–a birthday party, a soccer game, church dinner, or spend the night. It seems we will do just about anything to be apart.
Thankfully, summer vacation is here. No practice. No pressing church meetings. No after school activities. Just us being forced to be together, once again as a family. I wonder how many bags of charcoal we can go through. I wonder how many meals we can share together. I wonder how many stories we can tell if we really try. But, this will take some rediscovery.
My hope this summer is to have my family made stronger. Maybe crack the shell of my oldest daughter–by rediscovering, what brings her joy, or breaking a sweat with my 12 year old by rediscovering her love of the outdoors, or rediscovering the smile of my 7 year old while playing a board game or painting a watercolor, or rediscovering the neighborhood around me through the eyes of my two year (while pushing her around the block on her tricycle), or rediscovering the way the hand of my wife feels or her hair smells while watching a movie after everyone else has gone to bed.
Again, thankfully, summer is here. A time for a little R & R. A time to slow down. A time to be reeled in.