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Should I Vacation in Hawaii?

January 20, 2015

I would contend there are two main ways a person can truly assess their priorities in life: by looking at their bank account and their daily schedule.

In light of these two factors, a reasonable person could ask, Is it ever right for a follower of Jesus to take a “luxury vacation” to Hawaii? or DisneyLand? or Mexico or [insert sunny/beach destination]. Would it not be a better use of the money to provide for the poor, give to a friend serving other humanitarian &/or Christian purposes, to a local food bank or even a savings account for some more noble and long-term purpose?

My answer is “Yes!” If you read the four Gospels (I believe it comes out most clearly in Mark chapters 7-8) it is abundantly clear Jesus tried to get away for a vacation, for a quiet time away from people and away from the exhausting work He was involved in. He needed R&R… and he tried to get it on the Mediterranean beach! Frankly, we are arrogant if we think we do not need rest & relaxation time when the God of all the Universe did (see also Genesis!) when He lived on earth.

So, whether we go camping – which I’m told is very relaxing for some people – or go to a tropical location like Hawaii, I believe this is actually be wise stewardship of God’s resources. I went on a fun vacation to San Diego with a friend when I was a single guy. My wife’s family – her parents, her three siblings & spouses and children – vacationed together last year during Easter Break in Puerto Vallarta. It was a great adventure and an important memory maker for our children. Those types of experiences can be significant for a family, especially one geographically distant in building family memories.

At the same time, especially living in Canada, I think we easily get into a trap of “expecting” our annual trip to [destination] as a right. “I freeze my butt off from mid-October til mid-April! Of course, I deserve a mid-February break to [destination]. You can’t expect me to survive without it!” I hear people saying. This is really quite scary. When we recognize that even the poorest people in North America are among the world’s wealthiest, we should be embarassed, especially as followers of Jesus, that we entertain such thoughts. It is fine to have a nice vacation, as a family or a couple in the middle of winter. But to insist on it as a “right” is simply wrong.

My wife and I plan to do a family missions trip with our children to a foreign country (though obviously that’s a few years away!) Nonetheless, any vacation can be an opportunity to learn about God, His world, and rejoice in the beauty of His creation.

This post is part of a larger series series answering questions related to God-centered priorities (a topic I was privileged to speak on recently at the Prairie Tabernacle Congregation) including How much money should I give to God?, Should I work away from home? and Should my child(ren) my participate in this activity?

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