Recreate. Re-create.

We just returned from the best vacation ever. It was good because we relaxed, unwound and “re-created.”

It was my dad who reminded me that at the root of recreation is the concept of creation in the form of “re” creating. A good vacation is one where you recharge, rebuild and renew.

Ours was a simple vacation. We drove from Seattle to Durango, a small, rural town at 7000 feet in southwest Colorado. Between Seattle and Durango we made a stop in Moab, Utah to visit the Arches National Park.My journal entry the next day including these thoughts:

[ “The beauty of your creation is scarred by the impact of man. You alone, Oh Lord, craft even chaos in such a way that it is pleasant to the eye. Job sought wisdom in the fear of the Lord, and insight by shunning evil.

A word to the young. Arches National Park is a tribute to the aged. The stunning curves of hardened rock, took time to shape, they could not be hurried. The young cannot form the beauty of the arch; they are unshaped, unseasoned. Even when they speak the truth it lacks the weathering, the texturing of time, Age alone does not shape the beautiful, red hued arch, and being old does not assure wisdom and insight. Is there anything more beautiful than a man or woman whose faith stands firm after taking a beating, after passing through a dreadful icy winter, a thawing of spring, a sun-baked summer and a renewing Fall?”]

In Durango we stayed at a large lodge reserved for ministry workers, and enjoyed a family reunion with my two sisters, their husbands and kids. We guys all attended Simpson College (when it was in San Francisco, it is now in Redding, California) and then went on to study at Gordon-Conwell Seminary in Massachusetts. All that to say we’ve laid down a lot of miles with each other; we know the “good, the bad and the ugly” about each other. Our four days passed at a leisurely pace: good food, long unhurried conversations, reading time on the deck, and elk, deer and prairie-dog sightings; God is good, the pace is slow and God is in the quiet.

From Durango you can take an old-fashioned steam engine train to Silverton, an old mining town at 10,000 feet elevation. The track winds along the river and clings to the narrow cliff as you gain in elevation. We also took a day trip to Mesa Verde where you’ll find an amazing National Park built around the dwellings of Native Americans, one settlement going clear back to the first century.

Because we were so close, we decided to re-route through the Grand Canyon National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park and once again, found ourselves diminuated and stilled by God’s handiwork.

Our kids like road trips and it is a good thing, because we spent more than a few hours on the road, confined to a min-van, with more than occasional stops at the rest areas (something about women, girls and a differently designed bladder?)

As we headed into Seattle I, as I always do, covenanted to bring more than a slice of the stress-free vacation life into daily life.

And that brings me back to re-creation. Most of us live life at an unhealthy pace. Vacation reminds us of that. We then have a choice. Sell everything and move to a simpler place (among my most popular shows are interviews with people who have done this!), return to the frantic pace, die (a severe form of dropping out), or find a way to “re-create” on a daily basis in life here.

Over the years I’ve learned some things about myself. I ¢â‚¬Ëœrecreate” by setting aside a quiet time alone at the start of each day. I “recreate” by not working on Sunday; a rabbi once told me the Sabbath is the day we avoid making our mark on anyone or anything, we rest from our initiating acts. I ¢â‚¬Ëœrecreate” by talking with family instead of watching TV or a movie. My wife has convinced me to get a hot tub for her birthday and I agreed to because I love her, and because I am hoping this will be a way to physically wind down and relax towards the end of each day.

The frenzied pace of life, the intrusion of technology, the overload of information, all these threaten our existence as humans. We were not designed for the stress levels we are placing on ourselves. We are wearing our body and soul down with the pressures of a typical day.

If being Christian means being counter-cultural, we somehow must lead the way in a counter-cultural revolution that leads back to experiencing being human as God intended it.

A good vacation is one where you recharge, rebuild and renew. A good LIFE is one where you recharge, rebuild and renew every day.


Posted in Staublog, Thoughts in July 10, 2003 by | No Comments »

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