My husband and I recently took a two-week vacation to celebrate our 40th anniversary. This was the first time we had ever taken this much time to unplug from work, ministry, and even our family and friends. We also unplugged from social media only checking our messages for a brief time in the evening to send an update of our trip to our daughters and close friends.
Since we are entering the retirement season of life and have worked hard to be able to travel like this, we have made it a goal to go on a two week experience every year. It was so refreshing in so many ways. After two weeks back in the routine of things, we are still processing the lessons we learned from our trip and here are a few.
4 Lessons Learned from My 2 Weeks Unplugged:
- Things move on without us.
It is good to remember that the world doesn’t revolve around us. Work, ministry, and family were just fine with us gone. Someone once shared that thirty-minutes after your funeral, someone will say “pass the potato salad.” The world and life keeps moving forward with or without us. One day, we will take more than a two-week vacation! Death is certain so it matters how we love, live, and lead now. Don’t make too much of yourself and never let your ego get in the way of your investment in others.
- Rest takes time.
It is difficult for me to fully get to an unplugged state of mind (and body!) and let go of work and life to truly rest. But having two weeks really helped me to clear my mind to truly enjoy the time with Rodney and the beauty of all the places we were able to visit. We went at a slower pace, took afternoon naps, talked longer over meals, and focused more on each other. I felt a deep rest physically, mentally, and spiritually. A peaceful settledness and contentment that comes from just being rather than doing.
- Focus really does make a difference.
My favorite part of the trip was the focused time with Rodney. We have a strong marriage but the busyness of even the good things in our lives can cause us to drift. We experienced again the beauty of the gift of marriage. The adventure of seeing new places together, longer and more intimate conversations, special prayer times and sharing scripture together, and simply enjoying each other. We hiked, biked, and climbed more than a 1,000 steps as we walked to the top of first century churches.God designed marriage and gave us an amazing gift of intimacy – spiritual, emotional, and physical. We were able to renew our friendship because we had the time and the focus without distractions.
- There is a bigger world than you know.
It is good to get out of the boundaries of your world and expand your view.
We went to places that were built in the first century and realized America is really young. We met and talked with people from around the world. We learned to love the sound of other languages, to learn new customs, and most importantly to see the beauty in the people. It is important that we love and care about the world and not just the corner where we work and live. It is important that we learn to love and care for all people and all nations.
When our plane landed in Nashville, we were glad to be home. We were ready to see family (especially our grandchildren), talk to friends, and we were eager and refreshed to return to work and ministry.We are wired to work, to create, and to serve others but resting from our labor gives us wisdom and perspective. Click To Tweet
It is good to unplug on a regular basis. God taught us that from the beginning when He set aside a day for rest. We are wired to work, to create, and to serve others but resting from our labor can give us the wisdom and perspective we need to lead and live well.
How do you unplug and rest from work and life?
“Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.” Psalm 90:12