Dan and I are currently extending our holiday break in Ft Myers, FL. We're experimenting with the idea of adding time south of the border as a way of making peace with living in Pennsylvania. I grew up in the state, so the cold winters aren't anything new, but Dan spent a chunk of time in the Bahamas, and his blood has never thickened (thinned?) enough to make winter bearable. Subbing a few 70 degree days in January for ice and snow the rest of the winter seemed like a good strategy. While here, we're both focusing on writing, which makes this not only our first attempt at "snowbirding" but also our first working vacation.

A working vacation can mean the worst of both worlds, resenting work because you're not relaxing, or not able to rest because the email still needs to be answered. (I've heard of people who go to awesome locations for conferences and never even make it out of the hotel!) But I've been wondering if this combination can't be a helpful way to view life. God is both at rest (Heb 4:10) and at work (John 5:17) which seems to imply that we could manage this seemingly paradoxical way of navigating our days. Perhaps this is what Jesus is getting at when he talks about easy yokes instead of heavy burdens in Matthew 11:29.  If we are able to start from rest, if we are able to embrace the peace that comes from God, then our "work" enters the flow of the Spirit, empowered and directed by the love of God.

Having a vacation mindset about life makes me less anxious, allows me to breathe. Choosing to live in rest expands my soul and my ability to continue with the next task in a spirit of grace. The "working" vacation part helps when the things that are on my docket aren't those I'm particularly pleased about. This isn't just about me, I remind myself. I don't keep peace by removing myself from the good that God is calling me to do. And so I need to stay alert, stay open to acting out of love toward those around me.

It's true. God is here;  His Spirit is both at rest and at work-around me, in me, through me. Wherever I happen to be...