The kids and I have a little game we play, revolving around a single, simple question: Chincoteague or the Cabin? Usually we ask it when we’re doing something mundane, boring and repetitive like dishes or homework, folding laundry or schlepping to yet another after-school activity. This week, we volleyed it back and forth over trash cans, damp cloths and thermometers, as a stomach bug took the kids down one by one.
Chincoteague and the Cabin are our standard family vacation spots. And for a moment, the person posing the question is simply asking: If you could immediately be whisked away to one or the other, which would you choose?
The Cabin is the very essence of all that its name suggests — a rustic home nestled in the gorgeous mountains of central Pennsylvania. Could it be more enticing? Did I mention the winding creek that runs in front with a clear view to the rocky bottom? We catch fish, swim, and sit on boulders mostly submerged in the deeper parts of the water. The house is old, with a big stone hearth, creaky floors, and warped glass windows. There are stunning views and a wrap-around porch dressed with mis-matched rocking chairs. Inside, there is no television, a shocking variety of games, and more than 60 years of family history and memories that whisper to us from within its walls and under the canopies of the trees.
The Chincoteague house is on the water in a little seaside town. We catch crabs, kayak, or bike to the ocean. The vibe here is different — coastal — and for some reason more active, as summertime invites an invasion of out-of-town renters and pony seekers. No mountains, but oh, that ocean.
Neither belong to me yet I am blessed — we are blessed beyond measure to have them in our family. To have access to them and to be on the receiving end of the generosity of family members who offers them up for us to enjoy as regular memory-making vacation spots.
But here’s the thing. Most of the time, we’re not at the Cabin or at Chincoteague. Most of the time, we’re at home — doing dishes, folding laundry, working on homework, schlepping. And the last week of February found us taking temperatures, holding the hands of sick children, groping for an extra cup of coffee (because a stomach virus almost never strikes during daylight hours) and worrying that the kids would fall behind on their schoolwork.
I love our vacations, and they provide much-needed respite from our regular schedules. And while our silly “Where Would You Go” game is harmless fun, I know that God’s true destination spot for me is with Him. And in the meantime, He’s placed me right HERE. I seek vacations but God has given me something better — something that a winding creek, wrap-around porch or ocean view simply can’t match.
He gives me rest.
And so I’m committed to changing the game, so to speak — in my heart and with my kids. Because the “here and now” is a blessing, too. It is purposeful, it is real, and my Savior is the same Sovereign, mighty God whether I’m relaxing on vacation, or stressed over my hectic schedule or vomiting children.
This rest is an objective truth gained for me by my Savior’s work on the cross. I don’t have to travel to get it –it’s here in the midst of this crazy, hectic life. And ironically, it’s the challenges of the day-to-day that point me to this rest and make me grateful for the promise of a an unimaginable destination spot already prepared for me.