Some “Pre-tripulation” and Post-vacation Thoughts


Coming home after vacation is “the agony and the ecstasy.” hummingbird 01

I’ve heard of folks who always come home renewed, and, in some fine ways, that is surely true of us. That’s the “ecstasy.”

On the other hand, as much as I love home (immensely!) and love the fact that being home means being back close to family and friends, am I the only one who, as the mountains recede in the rear view mirror, finds that sight and loss of altitude a little depressing?

Getting back into the swim of things has a little “agony” about it, but we do, and we find that we’ve come home with a little more perspective and some new energy. As truly good as it was to go, it’s also truly good to be back.

When I’m in what my younger brother calls the “pre-tripulation,” exhausting myself so I can take off and be “renewed,” I remember the words of the amazing Zig Ziglar. He gave a great speech about living every week as if it were the week before vacation. If we got that much done during “ordinary” weeks, wow!

Ya gotta love Zig, and I miss him, but he forgot to say that, if we all worked that hard all the time, most of us would die early, go insane, or drive everyone around us crazy! It’s a pace we weren’t designed for. Still, Zig’s right, and we can learn something from that week.

But some fine lessons also show up during the blessed event itself!

Your life is not all about your work. If it is, even if it’s great work, it’s a poor life. I learned last week that even hyperactive hummingbirds stop and sit more than I realized. I don’t know what they think while they’re sitting, but I do know that incredibly little thinking ever takes place among my own species if we never stop.

I hope that on your time away, you consciously try to shelve not only your duties (they’ll be there when you get back) but also a good many of your worries and concerns (they’ll be there when you get back). You’ll deal with them better if you don’t deal with them always.

When you get home, be careful which ones you strap on again. Ask for God’s help and wisdom to know which ones you need to work on, and which ones you can’t change anyway and need to leave with him. You’ll need his help with that, but this is, after all, his prescription (“Take no anxious thought for the morrow”), and it’s help he has already promised to give. “Cast your cares upon him.”

At 9,500 feet or so, I noticed again how brilliant the stars are. Old Job called the Pleiades and Orion by name. And the psalmist wrote about the stars. I don’t know what he worried about, but he derived comfort from looking up at them. God has kept those same stars burning all this time.

The psalmist’s cares fizzled out long ago. So will yours and mine. But from the other side of God’s starry canvas, we’ll still be wrapped and enfolded in the arms of the One who flung the stars across the sky.

I think about that kind of thing more when I’m away. I need to think of it more when I’m home.


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Copyright 2013 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.

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