Here in Florida, summer is officially over. Most kids are back in school and family vacations for 2008 are behind us. That makes it the perfect time in my mind to start planning for 2009. Why? Lets look at what you did for that vacation a few weeks or months ago. Ten years from now what difference will it have made? Sure it was nice to get away, go to the beach or mountains or on the cruise. You had some fun along with some family stress and probably came back needing a vacation to rest from your vacation. Sort of self defeating if you ask me.
What would happen if next year you used your two weeks of vacation to instead go on a short term mission trip? Sound like work? Well in many ways it is but so was the vacation you just had. What you need is a change of scenery from your regular nine to five, something that energizes and invigorates you. What will do that better, laying on a beach for one more day getting burnt, or being Christ-like and coaching soccer for a bunch of AIDS orphans in Africa, or rebuilding a home in the 9th Ward of New Orleans for an 80 year old widow? If you said the beach, then you better check for a pulse because your heart has turned to stone.
If you want to live a provocative life for Jesus then you need to do the unusual. You need to do the uncomfortable. Last summer a good friend of mine took his wife, teenage daughter and ten year old son to work in an orphanage in Kiev, Ukraine for two weeks. They were up before dawn every day, ate far less food than they wold have at home, worked like crazy for 12 hours a day and guess what. They came home as fired up and refreshed as they had ever been. And in the process they helped change the lives of a couple hundred children. That is provocative. It provokes questions. Why did you do that? What was it like? Does it really make a difference? And that leads to answers that are all about Jesus.
Don’t submit to the norm next summer. Don’t just go with the flow of American vacations. Start asking God now how He wants to have you do something radical next summer and bring glory to Him in a way that a cruise ship never could