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Vacation - Vocation

Having just come back from the beach (and with one more week coming up the week after Labor Day week), and with Labor Day coming up, I’ve been thinking about vacations and vocations. I might focus on vocations this Sunday. But for this blog, I’d like you to think about your vacations.

What if we were to think of them as an extended Sabbath? This assumes, of course, that we are taking a Sabbath - a day to completely set aside work to pursue rest, recreation, and relationships. Sabbath is not only a commandment, it’s also a necessary practice for healthy living. And also for productive living.

Once, when I was complaining about the number of hours in my work schedule, a wise man said to me, “Mark, it’s not how much you work; it’s how much you get done.” The industrial age taught us to measure work by hours put in and units produced. But even there, I noticed something important about how God has put us together. It was my first construction job. They were ten-hour days. But it was clear to everybody that the longer we worked, the less productive we were. It was hot. We were tired. I once had a council president say to me, “Mark, you’ve hit stupid. Go home.” Good advice. It’s not how much you work; it’s how much you get done. And the quality of what you get done. And your ability to listen caringly and carefully.

So, Sabbaths are necessary not just once a week, but also during the day. Not to be lazy, but to be fully present and alert and productive. Many workplaces are encouraging mini-Sabbaths during the day.

If we think of our vacations as extended Sabbaths, then their purpose is to be physically, mentally, spiritually, and relationally renewed. Stephen Covey (of 7 Habits fame) would call that: sharpening the saw.”

How about you? Do you have a day set aside to take stock of and work on your spiritual, physical, mental, and relational health? Are your vacations true Sabbaths? What changes might you want to make?


Pastor Mark Walters


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