By Dr. James L. Snyder
During vacation time, I have some anxiety points that becomes a little more serious each year. It is not that I do not like vacation, I just don’t like going on vacation. It’s the “going” aspect that frustrates me. I just hate stopping what I’m doing and changing gears. I usually end up in neutral.
I’m not quite sure who invented this vacation idea, but I wished he would have been on vacation that week. I do not mind getting away for a little break now and then, but a whole week’s vacation! Do you know what a whole week’s vacation cost? Don’t ask me what I could do with that kind of money!
Once again this year the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I took a vacation.
I was reminded of my first day of first grade school. The bus came to pick me up and I fought like a crazy person and refused to get on that bus. No way was I going to go to school and nobody was going to make me.
My mother had to drive me to school and to put it mildly, she was not very happy. When she got me to the school, she said, “You will take the bus home tonight!” Then she added those infamous words, “… or else!”
I found my way, somehow, to my class and to my great surprise, I had a wonderful day. I did not know school was so fun. Then the time came for me to go home. And then, I wasn’t happy.
I did not want to go home. I did not want to leave school. I refused to get on the bus and my mother had to come pick me up.
When I got home I was introduced to the “or else” aspect of my mother’s displeasure with my actions for the day.
Isn't that just the way life is?
I had the same feeling when it came to vacation time this year. To avoid the issue I leave all the preparation to my wife who begins six months before the actual time. She is anxious for vacation time to come and can hardly wait for it to arrive. All she talks about is what we’re going to do on “our vacation.”
It was this year I finally realized what was going on. While my wife was making all the preparations and plans for our vacation, I ended up footing the bill. And then, I wasn’t happy.
She usually does a great job in the planning of these things, especially the flights where she knows where to get the cheapest ones.
This year on our plane flight, we did not set together. I do not know if it was cheaper or how it actually worked out. On every plane, there are three seats on the right and three seats on the left. I happened to get the middle seat on the right.
I certainly am not a small person. I stand 6’ 3” tall and almost as wide. I carry my weight with the most dignity I can. When I approached my seat, I noticed that on either side of my seat were men who made me look like a midget. I could barely sit down in my seat and for two hours I was crunched between these two sumo wrestlers.
I was afraid that somewhere along the flight I would have to sneeze and that would destroy everything. Fortunately, I did not sneeze and more fortunately, during those two hours I did not have to go to the bathroom. I am not sure what I would have done had I had to go.
When we finally got to our destination, it turned out to be wonderful. We were staying at my son’s home in Ohio with his wife and four children. I only get to see these four grandchildren once a year and it is always a great time together.
When the time came for us to leave and fly back home, I wasn’t very happy. I just didn't want to go home. I could have spent the rest of the summer there with the grandchildren.
The flight back home was not quite as stressful as the other flight. Sitting next to me was a two-year-old who hardly took up his own seat. I could stretch out, relax and enjoy the flight and I even enjoyed the nonstop chatter of this two-year-old.
During the flight, I had some reflective thoughts. I came to what I will refer to as the grandfather’s dilemma. As a grandfather; do I have the best grandchildren or, do my grandchildren have the best grandfather?
All the way home, I thought about that and concluded that my grandchildren are the best grandchildren in the world who happen to have the best grandfather in the world. I think that solves both sections.
I suppose flying high in the air makes the air so thin that a person cannot think straight. That being so, it was wonderful to land and then finally get back home and back into the saddle again.
Flights of fancy have their place, but so does getting back to work and doing the things you love.
I love what Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
For me, the best time is coming home and getting back in the saddle again.