I look forward to going on vacation. Do you ever want to escape?
A vacation is an escape from the day-to-day routine where we get to explore, adventure and be alive. Sometimes I just want to escape this reality I am living in. In general, I love my life, but don’t you just wish you were somewhere else sometimes?
My family and I recently took a two week vacation to Hawaii thanks, in large part, to my mom. My husband and I began to await the blessed time from the moment we booked the tickets. We entertained the idea of being together and showing the kids new places. Every day I began to prepare for our up and coming adventure.
As we boarded the plane, all of us were overwhelmed with excitement. A trip to Hawaii had been a dream for our kids for as long as we could remember. When we arrived in the land filled with palm trees, warm and tropical breezes, we settled into a wonderful time. But two weeks is a long time.
Days passed by. The excitement began to wear off and we began living life in Hawaii. We were homeschooling, making dinner, doing laundry and dishes, and picking up the home we were living in. Funny, these are all the same things that I do at home.
And then my kids began to have attitude, being ungrateful and disobedient. They argued about doing schoolwork and pestered their siblings. Sadly, similar to the behaviors we work on at home. My husband and I, who had been all giddy at first, sank into our regular routine and began to treat each other with familiarity. I began to see the ugly faces of selfishness and disregard that I fight at home.
I pondered these things one morning.
I realized escaping from reality . . . from marriage . . . from children . . . from life, while blissful at first, will end up right where we were before. The grass will look greener, but in real life we bring with us all the junk we had at home. In Hawaii, we had just changed locations. Sure, we went sightseeing, to the beach, surfing, and made all kinds of wonderful memories. But the truth is that any ugliness in our hearts travels with us regardless of our location.
I might sit at home any day and just wish to be on vacation. It is a longing for escape from what I don’t want to face; kind of like TV and movies for me. But I will still love vacations. God said to me one morning on the beach that I am a work in progress wherever I am. My kids and my husband, they too, are His masterpiece that He is creating over time. All six of us in our family are sinners. So while I may long for a change of venue to somewhere tropical, I know that a vacation will not change our hearts and our souls and the escape will not have the effect I am hoping for. Why do I think my kids will be better behaved driving two hours to Volcano National Park than they are here in Southern California?
I came home with a different appreciation for here and now. Because I should never wish to be somewhere different than where God has me. The grass is not greener, because it is a mirage. When I get there, the grass will be the same color as mine. The escape has all the hype without the follow through.
So for now, no matter if we are in Southern California, Hawaii, Australia, Germany . . . wherever the Lord leads us, I will remember, this is right where God has us. All our “stuff “has made it to baggage claim with our luggage and we are to deal with it right where we are. No fancy escape plan, just good old-fashion learning and growing, failing and forgiving, right where God has us.