Vacation, golf and Psalm 107

Every August we try to take some vacation, a mini-sabbatical of sorts. Sabbatical is defined as a year or shorter period of absence for study, rest, or travel, given at intervals (emphasis on “shorter period”)

Interestingly, when we fail to take a day of weekly rest along with periodic longer periods of rest, we burn out and end up resting not of our own choice.

I usually go into this time thinking it will involve lots of golf. For some strange reason I equate golf with rest. Isn’t beating someone in a highly competitive activity (where you are “having fun”) the definition of rest?

This year the biggest thing has been fixing broken stuff around the house. I get a strange sense of enjoyment in that, especially working on something that gets fixed. Someone once told me how therapeutic mowing or shoveling snow can be for a leader, because you actually get to complete the task in a concrete way. Of course electrical, plumbing and appliance repair don’t compare because I don’t get them fixed very easily.

Finally, I’ve been reflecting on Psalm 107 this month. What an amazing Psalm! Taking a few verses every day, reading, thinking, checking out what Charles Spurgeon says, praying about it, seeing how it applies, etc.

The Psalm paints the picture of 4 groups of people, all of which 1) stray away from God, 2) suffer consequences, 3) cry out to God, and 4) God shows His incredible mercy. He shows that mercy in different ways to each group.

The first group for example He “leads in a straight way” as part of His deliverance. Ever feel like you’re on a circuitous route (indirect and lengthy)? Boy I do. That seems to be at the core of following Jesus. Probably not because He is going the indirect and lengthy route, but because we do.

I was just talking to a guy who has a really hard time listening. He is used to doing what he wants, when he wants, and gets rather offended when others don’t fall in line. But he also has experienced some brokenness, crying out to God, and then God leading him “in a straight way.” He’ll experience that mercy again, as we all do, once he reaches the end of his own resources.

A time of rest where we are listening — whether hanging out with family, golfing, or fixing things (not necessarily in that order).

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so! Psalm 107:1

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