Beach trips. I’m on one right now. Why do we pack up and go to the beach? We can sit in an easy chair in our backyard, in our front yard, in our den, in our basement, or on the beach. What inspires us to save money, then spend that money to rent someone else’s house to bring our lawn chairs to their house to sit and relax? The economics are actually not the interesting part of this transaction to me. Rather, the idea that changing my geography may benefit me on some deeper level.
So, what is it? Where did the idea of a vacation or “holiday” begin? I think the easiest place to start is the beginning. The beginning…or I guess I should say The Beginning.
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Gen. 2:2
God is the only truly self-sustaining being that exists. He is. That is His name, “I AM.” As such, he doesn’t need anything. He doesn’t need rest. But, He took it. Why? I think if we ponder that too long our heads may explode. Still, I think we need to acknowledge that the Creator of everything took a break. A break He didn’t need. I mean, He wasn’t tired. He doesn’t tire. But, there it is on Day 7. I think Jesus makes it clear for us.
Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. Mark 2:27
So, God didn’t need the Sabbath, we did! I think this is a good place for us to start with our investigation of the beach trip. As beings created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27), we are creative, like our Creator. God made us like Himself. Still as creatures, we have needs. We are like Him, but we ain’t Him. We need rest to sustain our ability to be as productive as we were designed to be. A great example of this is Chick-Fil-A. Huh? Stick with me. Chick-Fil-A operates 6 days a week. Every other major fast-food restaurant in America operates 7 days per week. Still, Chick-Fil-A averages more per store than every other fast-food restaurant in America. To be clear, there are restaurants whose overall sales surpass Chick-Fil-A. In fact, there are 7 restaurants who have far more stores/locations than Chick-Fil-A and therefore have an overall higher total sales number. But, there are none who match Chick-Fil-A on a per store sales number. As a matter of fact, if you looked at the top three in total sales and added their average per store sales together, you’d still fall short of Chick-Fil-A’s store average. McDonald’s ($2,670,320 per unit), Starbucks ($945,270) and Subway ($416,860) the total per store average would be $4,032,450 as compared to Chick-Fil-A’s average per store of $4,090,900 in 2017. In six days per week, Chick-Fil-A produced more per store than the combined per store average of McDonalds, Starbucks, and Subway produced over 7 days a week. It makes you think, “Maybe there is something to this Sabbath thing…” Several years ago, I had gotten WAAAAAY out of balance with my work. I was basically working 7 days a week. And, even when I was home, I wasn’t really home. One day, my wife called me out in a loving way. She said, “If you can’t take a Sabbath, maybe you shouldn’t be doing this job.” She continued, “I challenge you to commit to taking a Sabbath and see what happens.” I took her up on it. A year later she and I took the “Mother of All Beach Trips,” to Hawaii on a trip for the top sales people in the company. I’m not saying this to brag. I’m saying, “Maybe there is something to his Sabbath thing!”
I believe vacations, sabbaths, sabbaticals, long-weekends, etc. are an amazing opportunity for us to recharge, refuel, and begin the process of re-creation. We need it. God showed us in the Beginning. If you aren’t able to take a vacation, I understand. Still, if you have been hesitant to take a true Sabbath, don’t be! You need it. You will be better for it. If you can take a week, do it! The time with your family, or doing nothing, or reading, sleeping, or just being, can be an amazing time of replenishing and restoring that creative part of you that makes you great at your job. If you can’t take a week, find a way to take a day each week. God’s way works, I promise.
Each day we go into the world with the opportunity to make an impact. Each person whose paths cross ours matters. Lives intersect for a reason. I believe there is One who directs our steps to these sometimes seemingly random meetings. My goal for these encounters is that I make a difference. That is my desire for those who venture across my blog. I hope you are blessed and it makes a difference for you.