Enjoying a few days "away from it all" - I hope this post encourages you as it is an encouraging reminder to me.Vacations mean different things to different people. A vacation can instantly produce mental pictures of a swaying hammock in Caribbean island breezes or warm cozy love seats near a fireplace at a mountain side bed and breakfast. The same word could spring to mind a ten year old musty sofa sleeper at uncle Fred's house or sharing an air mattress, that only holds a five hour firmness, with your mother-n-law's cat. Either way there is only one thing that should be consistent, even in our travel logs, that is starting each day with the Lord.
I am not perfect, but I have learned that no matter what my geography may be, God deserves my first moments each and everyday. This is definitely an area that I have improved upon, and continually challenge myself to come up in. Maybe not in your very straight walk with the Lord, but in mine, I have found it easy to follow God's advice during my regular daily mornings, but it is when my schedule changes that I trip up, so to speak.
Time with the Lord should not be a mechanical experience, punch in your bible time clock and go, but by planning regular morning pray each day, our mornings will turn into a lifetime of better days. Some choices in life do not produce results or the lack of, on the very day that you make them, but in the area of morning prayer time I notice immediate significant difference if I rush it.
When I was younger, prayer was on an as needed basis. Whenever I fell into a life pit I would get on my prayer phone to God and ask for a bailout. Once my situation was over so was my conversational relationship with the Lord, that is until the next big need consumed my life. I was the pinnacle of an ungrateful child. Imagine treating a person like this, what kind of relationship would we have, only connecting when we need something.
I have definitely grown up in the area of prayer, I am not perfect, but I recognize that by investing in my relationship with the Lord I handle challenges differently than I did in those days of emergency calls. I believe that by spending time, in His secret place of private intimate prayer time, (Psalms 91:1 KJV), that I grow in understanding what He has blessed me with and His plans for me.
These days I wake up excited to talk to the Lord and when I over sleep I choose to let go of certain things like, a big breakfast, long showers, phone conversations, or checking an online network to prioritize my time with the one who made me.
Since I have learned the value of mornings with God, I strive to focus on keeping Him my priority, especially on vacation. No matter where my time off is spent it is always better when I begin each day with the Lord. I might go for a walk outside a family members house, sneak out early and watch a sunrise on a friend's porch, sip hot tea quietly while enjoying time in the kitchen, or sneak off into the bathroom and lean or sit on the bathtub rim, just to spend my first minutes with my Father. One thing that I know is that when I start by being still, (Psalms 46:10 KJV), I am able to hear His voice and know that He is with me, which strengthens my whole day.
When I begin each day with the Lord, not only is my day better, but all my family members are grateful for my prayer life as well. The hustle and bustle of vacations, whether it be during the holidays or a family reunion, always will be improved by spending extra time with God. So although I may take vacations to get away from it all, that does not include the Lord. He is with me always and so I choose to honor Him as the first priority of my day. From hotel beds to living room sofa sleepers God is with me each morning and all the day through, there for I will choose to be with Him.
"My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up," (Psalms 5: 3 KJV