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Evelyn M. Bingham
   Vacation, how many times have you heard or said the word, and what does it mean to you? According to most dictionary definitions it means A time of rest and freedom from work, study or any activity. Rest, respite, intermission, a time of recreation, usually a specific interval in a year.
    Each person’s definition or idea of a vacation is as varied and different as the individual.
    Some people long for the opportunity to languish lazily on sandy beaches, cool drink in hand. Some crave the chance for the challenge of participating in strenuous workouts or other displays of athleticism or prowess. Still others, are completely turned on by the mere thought of daring feats such as rock or mountain climbing, sky diving, wind surfing, sailing, scuba diving, skiing, snow boarding etc. Hiking, hunting, backpacking, walking the beautiful nature trails of our great country brings a thrill to some. Many find peace and comfort in the opportunity to experience the solace and solitude of a wilderness cabin, or the serenity of a quiet lake from a kayak or canoe, or the silent meditative act of fishing from shore or boat. A fairly inexpensive vacation for families, might include camping trips, day trips to museums, zoos, movies etc. More elaborate vacation plans might include traveling extensively to other countries, a cruise, whether on a gigantic cruise ship or on a smaller, educational, teaching cruise ship of only a few hundred passengers. Nowadays, only your time available, the contents of your wallet, your responsibility constraints, or your imagination and desires, limit your vacation choices.
    A great majority of people, never have the opportunity of experiencing A Vacation.
Their everyday lives are so consumed by the task of just surviving, that for many, all thoughts, hopes, and dreams for relaxation are nonexistent. Too many of us have not been fortunate enough to have been raised in an environment where exposure to traveling, learning and experiencing new people, cultures, foods, and the social graces.
    These allow us to be on a more level or even playing field,and allows us to experience and appreciate the beauty of nature, and the many everyday expressions of respect for themselves, their family, community and humanity in general.
  When there is a lack of self-worth and no hope, or encouragement or vision to achieve, people tend to become cold, callous, indifferent, uncaring, and self-centered.
     When these things are allowed to happen, people tend to express their frustrations about their situation in the form of littering, alcohol, drug or physical abuse, promiscuity, graffiti, road rage, raucous night life, and other forms of emptiness and anger. I’m not excusing these bad behaviors on poverty, however; for many people, who have come from impoverished backgrounds have grown to become very productive, contributing members of our society. These loving and empathetic people are dedicated to helping to uplift their less fortunate brothers and sisters.
     Those of us who have families and who know the joy of family cohesiveness, somehow, innocently believe that others share the same experience. Too often, people who have no family ties must create them by one means or another. Runaway youth banding together for protection, the formation of gangs, homeless or street people, the social clubs, who we see convening on various street corners and vacant lots. Let us remember and pray for all of our `forgotten ‘people, who for many reasons do not, and may never have or experience `A Vacation’, no matter how brief or what the destination.
  Vacations are to be cherished and remembered. When our children were growing up, we planned lots of camping trips to many places, renting a small, enclosed U-haul trailer, which was stuffed with our tents, bikes, canoe, cooking equipment, food and a myriad of other things which four active children require. Although our teenagers at the time were not too keen on the wilderness experience, over the years as they have become parents and grandparents, we often hear them recount fond memories of those vacation days.
Little, simple things mean a lot, and it’s surprising how sweet the memories are when they are extracted from our memory banks. It is especially nice to keep a journal or notebook and simply jot down each detail of your trip or vacation. It is very rewarding
to recall details long forgotten, such as gas prices, mileage, restaurants, side trips, camp grounds and parks, camp site numbers etc. Although circumstances have made it impossible for us to have A Vacation, for over two years, we still smile when we mentally plan and look forward to the possibility. Until then, may we all keep hope alive and continue to thank God for our health, strength, and mental faculties, whatever their degree, and for our abilities to be grateful for our lives.
  While we’re waiting for our next vacation time to roll around, let us each attempt to teach and encourage a child to the values of hope, the aspiration of their dreams and the value of the gift of vacation to themselves and their loved ones. Who knows, it may be as simple as showing them a picture or a photograph, a movie or something else which may be the catalyst needed to start their dreaming and planning process to begin----or maybe, just your interest in them and, or, your good example!
  Until our day comes, we have a family saying which might help. When we have had the opportunity for a good laugh, we say that we have just had an Instant Vacation!

By Evangelist Barbara Colbert-Brooks
         Ecclesiastes 3:11 says “He hath made everything beautiful in his time; also, He hath set the world in their hearts so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” 
     I am now waiting the debut of my first grandchild. James 1:4 declares”But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” God said that He have set the world in our hearts so that we will not know all His works from beginning to end. Our limited knowledge, and human fallibility will lead us to the essential business of letting patience have her perfect work. If we truly walk with Him, we will be forced to depend on Him. His time. His will. Perfected by a patience engineered by none other than His Holy Spirit. 
    In waiting, the words of Ecclesiates casts out worries and anxieties, sustaining my faith and courage, reminding me that “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.” Orchestrated by God who has purposely “set the world” in my heart that I may indeed “let patience have her perfect work…” Seasons; God’s method of tanning the hearts and souls of His beloved and placing all things in divine order. Seasons season the soul with wisdom, grace, and patience perfected to take the bitter with the sweet and endure the times as He has set them to be. “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven…A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” As the sun surely rises at the dawning of day, and the moon brightly glows in the darkness of night, seasons will come and go, leaving us in keen awareness of our own vulnerability. Seasons. A thing to let go and let God and “let patience have her perfect work…” 
     God moves through His seasons. Bringing everything for our lives in an appointed time that sets the pace for our spiritual growth and maturity. Spiritual surgery is His perfect work. Life and death, reaping and sowing, destruction and restoration. Laughter and tears. Silence and speech, love and hate, war and peace. All seasons to be respected that patience shall ultimately have her perfect work. 
      God truly makes everything beautiful in His time. Nothing whatsoever can be taken from it or added to it. Having boldly endured my seasons, I now await the manifestation of His perfect work. The beautiful thing he has done for this new season approaching in my life; a “grand” child for one who will always be a “grand” Believer in Him. 

Seasons: The perfect work of patience

The Vacation