Engines whirred, wheels rolled and suddenly Leeds Airport was a glistening speck amidst the drizzly cloud of English winter, and we were being borne away to the sunnier climes of the Canary Islands.
As speed, altitude and cabin pressure increased, we felt ourselves giving in to the exhaustion and gradually slumping down into our seats. Naturally, two little boys were doing the opposite of ‘the slump’ as they bounced from one knee to another, one voice chiming in frequently with ‘when’s lunch, when’s take off, when’s holiday, when are we there?’
Thankfully the bouncing gradually became slouching, and eventually sleeping.
We haven’t had a two week holiday since our honeymoon. Aiming for total switch off, phones and computers were left at home and we were praying for deep rest and refreshment, helped by a bit of sunshine and some distance from our current life happenings. Bags were packed with borrowed summer wardrobes, numerous books and a spattering of toys. We knew we needed a break.
The ‘unwind’ took a few days, but gradually we learnt how relax into holiday routines – sandcastling, splashing, sleeping, reading, meandering and other ‘ings’ that happen when there are no demands. It was brilliant.
The various ‘ings’ of holiday helped. We are physically and emotionally refreshed. But, wonderfully, spiritually refreshed as well. I was introduced to the term ‘remeditating’* while away, which means remembering the truth of the Bible and meditating on it – filling your head with gospel-shaped, Jesus-centred things.
I think it was time spent ‘remeditating’ that has meant we’ve regained more of an even keel. It still feels tippy, and emotionally precarious, but we know we’re on the solid ground of the truth of the Bible. And so have gained perspective. Remembered who our big, loving God is and the solid ground we stand on because He sent Jesus for us. It wasn’t reading new things, but remembering the old things – the long-standing realities that we know but had maybe forgotten or left behind in the craziness of our transitory context.
We’re so thankful for the gift of a holiday, and precious family memories. It didn’t fix us, despite gaining a smug February tan (!) and having some sleep, but it gave us time together dwelling on life-anchoring things.
*Coined by Nathan Howard