Spiritual Formation Begins [at Home]

Painted.Ladies

I just sent out a version of this post to families at my church. Check it out there if you’re interested. Otherwise, read on!

***

Summer continues, and with it a seemingly indomitable sense of freedom for so many of us, an unstoppable wanderlust. Many of us will find ourselves away from our home communities and in various parts of the nation and world over the summer months. I remember the trips we took as a family with great fondness, the weightless way I felt packing a small bag of goods while my parents worried about whether or not I had enough socks, the feel of cruising far from home in our teal 1996 Astro van.

One trip to the American West comes to mind. I was about 14, I think, when we visited Glacier National Park in Montana. The year was 2001, and we had only recently discovered that Y2K had not ravaged the internet. Not entirely anyway. As we traversed the byways of the Great Plains and made our way to the National Parks, my mom made note of how intricately God created the world. She had a way of letting us know how she was spiritually processing the experience, and that revealed to me how her confidence in God made a difference, even on vacation. She would often read a Psalm in the morning and we would begin our vacation days with a few simple prayers of gratitude, asking God to be present with us.

The way vacations happened in my family made a big spiritual difference for me. Looking back, I realize we were not taking a break from the spiritual journeying that happened at church. Instead, we were continuing the spiritual journey in other more ways. The ways we experienced God were radically influential precisely because I saw the integration of my life with God at church merge with my family life.

This year my family and I will be doing a short staycation here in San Francisco and taking time to see a few different places in the area. We are also doing another little adventure in August and going to Stratford, Ontario, for a week of theatre with Kaile’s parents and brother. As our son grows and vacations commence, we are excited to discover new ways to introduce him to Jesus and to the journey of faith that orients us to the God who created us. Seems vacation time is the perfect time to journey forward with our Maker.

It’s something about the sights, the newness, the readiness that comes during vacation. It’s something about leaving your home in the early morning to catch a train or place.    It’s something about being somewhere completely new and breathtakingly gorgeous.

In all these places, God is there. So.. will I acknowledge Him?

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