I’m sitting at my computer refreshed from two weeks of vacation and now revisiting many tasks at hand that I put in a pile while I was away. It’s curious isn’t it…time away doesn’t mean the work stops. But this time away and intentional recreation does create space to gain new perspective and energy to address the pile of work at hand. This vacation gave me time to catch my breath and it helped to create new perspective on work and life. It was indeed a gift for which I am grateful.
As I sit here regrouping and wondering, I’m reminded of how similar this vacation time is to engaging in intentional spiritual practice. In both summer vacation and spiritual practice, one takes intentional time to slow down and be still. In both, one becomes intentional in paying attention and noticing life – relationships, nature, situations and breath. So many things seem new and filled with life. It’s as if one can see God in all things in new ways. And in both, summer vacation and spiritual practice, one stays and lingers a bit longer – connecting and being conscious, fully conscious of what surrounds you. Perhaps, vacation is a kind of summer spirituality.
But the difference between vacation and spiritual practice is that intentional spiritual practice can happen each day. It costs no money. One doesn’t have to leave work or get out of town. It is possible for a summer spirituality to be part of every day and embrace the gifts of every day things even if it is just for two minutes.
This summer spirituality creates space to realize that God is discovered in all things. This is what is known as “devotion” and is the practice of finding God in all things. Carl Rahner writes, “The very uncommonness of everyday things harbors the eternal marvel and silent mystery of God and God’s grace.”
God is indeed part of all things. Sometimes one needs to go on “vacation” to be reminded of this truth. It takes time to slow down to really look and listen. It takes paying attention and noticing. It takes staying still and focused long enough to notice anew. This is living a life with devotion. Perhaps, it takes a vacation to see the mystery of God in all things and to notice the grace of God’s hand in all of life.
So I invite you to join me on vacation today. This vacation requires no travel and no money. It only takes intention, slowing down, being still, paying attention and staying present. This vacation is the devotion lived in a summer spirituality. Have a great trip!