1. Take holiday. I didn't last summer. I had just moved to a new church, so I decided to put on my Superman cape and grind it out. If you had seem me in the middle of winter you'd know how unwise a decision that was. Holiday and holy days - same thing. Worth taking. I've made that mistake twice in my life - when I moved to Saint John's and when I moved to Covenant. I won't make that mistake again.
2. Sleep. It's amazing how my view of life changes when I go from 4-6 hrs. of sleep a night to 9-10 hrs. What, then, must I do in my "regular" life to make vacation rest a part of it?
3. Play. By play, I mean be play-full. Be of a playful spirit. I know only too well the rap placed on me by those (even those who love me) that I'm too serious. I don't know where that comes from (yes, I do--thanks, Dad), but playfulness leads to joyfulness and joyfulness lets you handle whatever is happening in life from a different perspective. What play-full thing did I do this year that was different than any other? Karoake night at Sandestin, baby. It was a blast. Yes there is video, and no, you can't see it (well, maybe...if you ask me nice).
4. Be With Friends. If this past year had done nothing more than allowing me to be involved again into the life of one of my best friends, Tim - it would have been enough. I've known him since I was 15. We churched together, roomed together in a first apartment, he was my best man, and I officiated his wedding. And in this past year, I buried his dear mother, and both of his in-laws. Tim and family are members of Covenant (used to be Underwood, but that's another story--feel free to browse the blog for my opinions on that one), and we have been able to be a part of each other's lives after so many years just as it was when we hung out all the time. I was Tim's friend long before I was his pastor, and I'll be his friend long after I've been moved on down the trail. Tim and family were in Florida while we were. It was a good thing. Together with other Underwood friends, Jodie, Michelle and Halle, opportunities to fellowship, talk and play were far more abundant than in years past. Being with family is always good. Being with family and friends makes good become great.
5. Exercise. There's a 2.1 mile circle that encompasses the area that we live when we're there. It's not a ton of miles, but going from nothing to everyday, in the heat of the day was good. No question, I needs must incorporate that back into the rhythm of life I lead at home. Has to happen.
6. Spend Every Afternoon You Can on a Beach. I know some folk can take or leave a beach. I get it. And there are times of the day I can leave it, too. But late afternoon, from about 5 to sundown...made for me. The ocean breeze blowing in. The seagulls looking for something to snack from what others left, the more tolerable sun beaming down. Magic. As the days of my vacation moved from one into the next, what I to notice was a bit of a congregation that would gather at about that time everyday to take their seat and listen to the liturgy of the ocean in worshipful praise for the God of all creation who makes all things new, even tired, worn out preachers who need some re-creation.
7. Eat crabcakes at Louis Louis. Nuff said.