Taking God On Vacation
You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.
It's summer in New England, and almost everyone I know is going somewhere on vacation. This year has been hectic with traveling for me, and in the midst of packing for one of my trips, I remembered something that had helped me in the past. Some years ago, I took a month-long trip to France, Ireland and Scotland for work. I traveled alone for much of the time, and I stayed in 14 different destinations. I knew all these transitions to unfamiliar places would be difficult, so I decided to create a ritual for myself. I made a laminated card with the following fill-in-the-blank statements on it:
As I leave this place, I am thankful for _________.
I will miss _________.
I fear _________.
I am looking forward to __________.
Each time I prepared to leave a place, I would pull out the card and fill in the blanks. It made the transitions much easier for me and helped me to be open to the next step on my path. This year I have started using this ritual for smaller trips as well: leaving my house for work and coming home again, taking day trips to enjoy the outdoors, going to visit family. At the end of the ritual, I read Deuteronomy 28:6 and say a prayer of blessing. I encourage you to try it for yourself and see how your perspective changes when you take God on vacation.
I bless this place and the people who have come into my path here. God, watch over my coming and my going. I will not be afraid because You are with me. Amen.