Not opening a laptop for four days may seem like a rather incidental thing to you, but for me, it had been five years since I had taken that much time away from it. I know this because I took a vacation to Florida that year and started this blog after I got home. I used my phone to answer a few vital emails and posted some personal pictures throughout the weekend, but that was all. It was a much-needed hiatus, having hit the ground running when we moved here ten weeks ago.
At the end of this trip, I came away with some observations – nothing new – just reminders of some of the more important things in life.
My family is one awesome blessing from God. My wife is spectacular. Sam slept on her for the three-hour plane ride home last night. We got in well after midnight and finally hit the sack at 2:00 a.m. but she’s up this morning preparing to homeschool Ella, care for Sam, and prepare to help lead a Kids’ Small Group at Saddleback tonight. My daughter is incredibly sweet-spirited, inquisitive, helpful, and courageous over the fear of flight. My son, Sam, has brightened all of our lives with his contagious little smile. I couldn’t help but stare at them all on the way home and thank God for them!
My friends matter a great deal to me. We could not possibly visit everyone we wanted to see in so few days, but we did get to hang out with some close friends like old times. It was therapeutic for us. The hardest part of leaving a place behind isn’t the place, or the stuff, or the job… it’s the people with whom you’ve come to do life together.
Work will wait. The world didn’t fall apart while my laptop was shut. In fact, it was all waiting for me when I arrived at the office this morning. We often fall into the trap of thinking that everything is urgent. If I don’t make this call now… If I don’t send this email… If I don’t write this blog post… and yet it waits. And it’s more fun when you’ve really been “off” for a few days.
Breaks are good, but don’t check out on life’s responsibilities. When we landed in Los Angeles, we sat on the runway for a while, then waited about an hour for our bags to reach the baggage claim. When we finally had everything collected together and headed for the car, I led us to the wrong parking garage. After re-routing and finding our Honda, we also found a citation under the wiper blade for having an expired registration. Registering a car in California is quite a trick, but I’ve had plenty of time to get it done.
- People matter more than anything else on earth.
- Work is important, but success at the expense of relationships is no success at all.
- Right priorities and responsible living require “checking in” to life.
- Parking tickets are expensive.
When was the last time you closed up shop for a few days?