Monday, June 28, 2010

Family Vacations

Since we recently returned from a three-week road trip, the topic of family vacations is fresh on my mind. What a change from my childhood days! Back then, my brother and sister and I “shared” the back seat of the family station wagon. Turf wars, brawling, and boredom led us to explore – seat belt free – any square inch where we could get comfortable for the long haul. Today, with DVD players in the car, game sets, iPods and the like, our kids enjoy a non-stop buffet of entertainment from door to door! But whether today or ancient history, these vacations form lasting memories full of stories that we still tell.

What are some of the Biblical principles that can help your vacation to be a positive, Christ-honoring experience for the whole family? If you have an extra moment, look at Philip’s journey from Jerusalem to Gaza in Acts 8:26-40.

1. The Journey is as important as the destination. Philip never made it to Gaza. God’s intention was for Philip to meet the Ethiopian on the road to Gaza. Remember that sometimes God accomplishes His purposes on the road to where we think we’re going. Playing “car games”, long hours of conversation between Mom and Dad in the front seat, even the spontaneous stops along the road all become part of the relationship building adventure.

2. Be open to the ministry encounters God has for your family. God had an agenda in Ethiopia, and He accomplished it through this encounter on a dusty Palestinian road. During your vacation, pay attention to the people you meet. They are on a spiritual road to meet Jesus as their Savior. As you intersect their lives, you may become a catalyst for them to move one step closer to Jesus.

3. Vacation is not a time away from Godly living. Up in the chariot with the Ethiopian, Philip read scripture and enjoyed spiritual conversation. Family vacations are an excellent time to bring up topics that don’t surface during the normal rhythms of life. How has the last year gone for each person in your family? What does each one hope for in the next year?

So, open your eyes. Not only to the Grand Canyon or Mt. Rushmore, but to the eternal "sites" that appear along the road to a memorable family vacation.

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