Jared and I had the fantastic opportunity to get away on Veteran’s Day without kids. We were only gone about 28 hours, but it was marvelous. We didn’t go far just about an hour down the road from our home in Huntsville to a secluded cabin at one of our favorite camps. We had a great time. We rode bikes, played on the tire swing at camp (which is actually part of the ropes course), grilled hamburgers, hiked, napped, listened to sermons and talked and talked and talked uninterrupted! And no, we did not sleep in separate bunk beds (it wasn’t that kind of cabin)!
Here is the thing, it is hard to get away. It takes work, it usually costs money and you may actually have more to do because you got away then if you had stayed.
If those are your thoughts, I hear you, loud and clear. I’m a task-oriented personality. To me, getting away really means that I can’t get my tasks done. I feel such a need to be doing something all-the-time that when I’m not doing something, I feel guilty or irresponsible. However, might I suggest to you that by not getting away, we actually cheat ourselves, our relationships and our responsibilities, of our best?
Getting away from our everyday lives, if even for a short time, is powerful. Here are just a few of my observations:
1. Stepping away from your routine allows you time to hear from God. I love a routine. Routines are safe and allow the security of predictability, not to mention efficiency. However, for routine-lovers like myself, we can often latch so tightly to a routine that we don’t allow God to interrupt the schedule. [Tweet “Routines can interfere with God’s plan because we’re focused on the next thing that has to be done.”] Taking time away, disciplines us to step away from our norm and see what God might be doing from a different perspective.
2. Getting away with your spouse communicates the priority of your relationship. If I were honest, and I’m nothing if I’m not honest, my love language doesn’t really require much time away with Jared. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to spend time with Jared, because I do, he’s my favorite person. It just means that my love bank is usually filled other ways. However, getting away, setting aside my responsibilities and distractions to concentrate on Jared and he on me, gives us the opportunity to see each other in a different light. In the midst of our harried routines, we sometimes see each other in our parental roles or professions. Getting away, without those labels, allows us to see the person and remember how much we enjoy one another.
3. Less is more. Getting away without a planned agenda can seem scary for a planner like myself. However, by not trying to jam-pack so much into a short amount of time, it somehow becomes okay to sit, listen to the sounds of nature, the crackle of the fire or even enjoy spontaneous moments on a tire swing. God has recently been using a devotional by Ann Voskamp to speak to me. In it she says,
“Slow never killed time. It’s the rushing and racing, the trying to catch up, this is what kills time–ourselves.”
4. When you get away, don’t get away from your time alone with God. Solitude is a discipline and Jesus gave us an example.
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!” Mark 1:35-37
It isn’t easy. Getting out of your normal routine is a great reason to skip over your time alone with God. Getting away with God is designed to strengthen your relationship with Jesus. However, there will always be reasons and excuses not to get alone. Jesus, too, had obstacles and inconveniences. The passage in Mark shows us several:
- It was dark when Jesus left the house. Jesus had to set His “alarm” and get away while His followers were sleeping.
- Jesus didn’t have the luxury of electricity or even battery-powered flashlights.
- No shower or caffeine to wake him up and help get Him moving.
- People were counting on Him.
Slowing and getting away requires intentionality. Don’t allow inconveniences and obstacles to hinder you. Make getting away with God a priority.
“Solitude molds self-righteous people into gentle, caring, forgiving persons so deeply convinced of their own great sinfulness and so fully aware of God’s even greater mercy that their life itself becomes a ministry.”–Henri Nouwen
Get away and experience the power of God’s transforming work in your life.
Question: What have been some of your favorite “get-aways”? If you were recommending a place to someone else, where would it be? What is your favorite thing to do when you get away?