By: Grace McCready
It’s 6 a.m.
You can barely open your eyes, your body feels like a limp noodle, and you can’t stop yawning. Fortunately, waking up this early means you’ll make it to the beach early. Unfortunately, waking up this early means you won’t be awake enough to do your quiet time on the car trip.
So you leave your Bible, journal, and gel pens in your suitcase.
I’ll do it during our actual vacation, you tell yourself.
But that plan falls through the cracks once you get to the beach house and hit the waves. On your way home from your vacation, you realize you haven’t touched your quiet time materials for a whole week. The guilt begins to set in. And it continues to set in as you scroll through pictures of everything else you chose to do on vacation—swimming, shopping, and suntanning.
Why didn’t I set aside time to be with Jesus on this vacation? you wonder. Am I lazy? Tired? Or maybe simply unspiritual?
As a student who attends college out-of-state, I’ve spent a large portion of the last few years traveling. And even before that, my family drove up to 13 hours for our vacations. I know how to road trip! What I haven’t yet learned is the practice of doing my quiet time during trips.
If we’re being honest, we go on vacation to escape reality—to take a break from life. And “life” includes our quiet time, so we often let it fall by the wayside once we get in the car or on the plane. Quiet time is part of our regular routine, and we want a break from that routine.
It’s wise to take a break from work or school. (That’s why God created the Sabbath!) It’s not wise to take a break from our quiet time. So the next time you travel, keep these tips in mind so you can keep growing in your relationship with God—even on vacation:
Keep your Bible in your carry-on bag—or even your purse.
It’s less likely that you’ll open your Bible during your trip if it’s tucked away in a random suitcase. Making sure that it’s nearby will remind you to open it! If it’s in your carry-on bag, it’ll be convenient for traveling. And if it’s in your purse, it’ll be convenient throughout the entire trip.
Wake up early.
Yes, you read the correctly. I said you should consider waking up early on vacation. Believe it or not, this idea can really benefit you long-term. During my family’s recent vacation in the mountains, the smoke alarm was malfunctioning, thus waking me up early one morning. This “interruption” actually turned into a quiet time with God on the porch of our cabin facing the mountains. You never know what waking up early will lead to.
Set aside a rest time.
When you arrive at your destination, it’s easy to get busy instead of relaxing. Maybe your kids are itching to go to the waterpark, or you want to check out a new shop in the city, or your husband is eager to take you on a special hike. Whatever activities are in store for your trip, be willing to not do everything. Perhaps a 30-minute break in the afternoon or evening is all you need to be breathe and be with Jesus—or maybe you need a few hours. Keep your kids busy with a board game, outside activity, or movie while you do your quiet time.
Of course, God can still grow us if we skip a few quiet times during vacation. He’s not going to stop His work in our hearts because we didn’t pray or read the Bible while we were traveling. Even if we take a break from every other routine aspect of life during our trips, we shouldn’t neglect our habit of meeting with Jesus. We have such a good reason to continue this practice:
“I love the Lord, because He hears my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live” (Psalm 116:1-2 NASB).
Grace McCready is a senior in college who is studying business administration and communications. She enjoys writing, spending time with her family, and hanging out with friends. Her passion is for young women to live transparently and thrive during their single years. She blogs about the Christian life at Tizzie’s Tidbits of Truth.