Six Ways Vacations Shape Us

Time off is invaluable.

Sabbath time is a weekly rhythm you shouldn’t negotiate. Here’s a great sermon that talks more about the Sabbath.

Beyond Sabbath, we need extended vacation from work. Whether you take a huge trip or just spend time at home, vacations help us do six important things:


A few days with a changed agenda can relax our minds and our bodies. Even when we’re doing physical activity, we can relax. Less mental strain allows us to slow down and focus on deeper things in life.


A woodsman, busy cutting down trees, never took time to sharpen his ax. At the end of the day, he had cut down fewer trees than the woodsman who stopped every hour to sharpen his ax. When a person takes several days off in a row, there is a reset button. You come on the other side sharper, fresher, and more productive.


Time away from work allows you to reflect. Our unconscious minds are always working to solve problems. When constant, smaller problems and obstacles fill our time, we don’t have time to reflect. Though vacation is a break from work, some element of deep-rooted problem solving and direction setting happens when we’re free to reflect. Uninterrupted reflection time also helps us live more grateful and content lives as we reflect on the past, present, and our blessings.


Several days off in a row provides time to repair, both physical repairs and projects that fall off the radar when life gets busy. During our recent time away, we repainted rooms in our house and spruced up tables. Relationships also need attention. Keeping open lines of communication and growing loving relationships can suffer when the schedule is so crowded. We need time and space to reconnect at home.


You are not indispensable. Time away is a reminder the world doesn’t revolve around you. Vacations can also remind us of the beauty around us in nature, history, friendships, and hobbies. Time away from the regular routine is a reminder that God is in control.


Vacations refuel our lives. We often are ready to get back to work with a new energy or new passion. While refueling can come in many ways, extended time away is key.

Each of these elements, stacked together, provide powerful momentum for months.

As I mentioned, we didn’t take a big trip this year, but for a few days, we enjoyed rejuvenating adventures around our home area. I created a quick list of those places if you’re interested.

Did you know scheduling time off can bring peace of mind? Even a few days further ahead in your calendar will benefit you. Take the step and carve out your vacation time.

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