While writing this I am preparing to go on holiday, although by the time you are reading this I will have returned. As August is peak holiday season, many will be going on holiday this month and others will be taking a break even if staying at home.
The origin of our word ‘holiday’ is ‘Holy Day’. Holidays were originally days set apart for God – such as Christmas and Easter which we still regard as holy and which are still recognised as national holidays.
In the Bible, we read that from earliest times God granted people rest as well as giving them work to do. In the account of creation in Genesis we even read that God rested on the seventh day. Having created us in his own image, God provided that every seventh day we should have a day of rest from our labours. This day of rest allows people to rest physically and mentally and also restore them spiritually by giving them the opportunity to focus on God – worshipping him and remembering all that he is and all he has done.
In our hectic modern lives we need days of rest as much as ever. A complete break from work once a week is good for our physical, mental and spiritual health – our creator knows best! Longer breaks once or twice a year are also good for us. Holidays give us time to fully relax; reflect on life; appreciate God’s creation; spend time with friends or family. During the busy-ness of everyday life we may lose sight of what is really important and holidays can help us redress that balance. To really benefit we need to switch off from work – all those emails piling up in our inbox can wait – the phone calls and voicemails can go unanswered. We will be able to deal with our work much more effectively if we have had a proper break from it.
So whether you have just one day off or a whole fortnight, make sure you take a proper break, reflect on what is really important to you and take a moment to give thanks to your creator for all that he is and all he has done.