I Need A Vacation!

By on April 1, 2013

By Janelle Alberts –

I would not have cast the strong and stoic Charlton Heston as Moses. I would have picked someone who looked easily freaked out and whose face best expressed, “I wish I could get out of this place.”

Moses’ job was stressful. There he stood, staring out at the Red Sea, Egyptians closing in on him, Israelites fussing about why’d he drag them out of Egypt in the first place?
We wouldn’t blame him if he’d muttered simply, “I could use a break.” We can relate.
A break. A breather. Reprieve.
With a Latin stem vacātiō, a vacation is said to be a suspension or freedom from something.
Good luck.
In Moses’ case, he’d already had a hiatus some time earlier. He’d killed an Egyptian in an attempt to honor his Jewish heritage. His fellow Jews scoffed at him and the law was after him so he hit the road.
And he heard God. It took a little while, but still…
Reprieves in the Bible bring characters to be still and respond to God’s persistent pursuit: Remember me? Can you hear me? Have you heard me once again?
The trick is to quiet the volume of life for the sake of the still small voice.
But it’s hard to gear up for a good listen. We’re worn out. On and on we have coming at us the plans and the schedules and the due dates and the texts and tweets and Facebook friends. Exhausted, my vacation mantra usually goes something like, “Pack up, buckle up and keep your comments to yourself.”
God’s mantra to those in the Bible? “I’m coming with you.”
Jonah took a cruise in a whale. The prodigal son had a good, long getaway.
Rather eye-opening trips. Not like my friend who just left for a vacation and her expressed goal is to avoid thinking. She brought books to read with pink covers for which I would chastise her – except that she borrowed them from me.
It’s clearly not the location or the itinerary or even the ensemble worn on the plane ride over that make us better listeners. Look at Eve who’d been frolicking freely in the best of the best tropical paradise. And yet, she went down in history as the first worst listener of all.
Maybe instead of her trendy naked, she should’ve tried Chanel.
The point is anybody can do it. Listen. Really hear. While on vacation. It might be the part that actually makes it a vacation.
Nehemiah was a guy who had a good trip. He went to Judah to refurbish the place and thanks to his hard work many Israelites took a trip back to Jerusalem after having been away for a long, long time.
“Then all the people went away to eat and drink… to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.” Nehemiah 8:12
Maybe I’ll loan my friend that book next time.


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About Janelle Alberts

Janelle Alberts spent her early career managing crisis communication needs for Microsoft, UPS and Wells Fargo. Alberts joined the Akron Beacon Journal online religion page in the summer of 2010. Alberts sets out in The Bible Book Club to observe the messaging strategy of one historical icon who is consistently quoted but inconsistently represented – God and His world’s best-selling book, the Bible. You can find Janelle at http://ohio.webfactional.com/faith_folly/.

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I Need A Vacation!