I raise my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. God won't let your foot slip. Your protector won't fall asleep on the job. No. Israel's protector never sleeps or rests!
(Common English Bible)
Summer's here and that means many of us will be going on vacation. Whatever your vacation spot, keep these guidelines in mind as you travel.
When I go on vacation, I have a tendency to "leave it all behind" and to "get away from it all." If you work or have worked in the past, you know what I mean. You want to get away from the ringing phone and constant busy-ness of an office. You want to get away from the overwhelming number of emails and spam mail that you have to wade through every day. You want to get away from the laundry and dishes and cleaning that it takes to maintain a household from day to day.
We have to be careful, however, that we do not put God and time spent in reading the Bible and praying in with "it all." The Psalmist reminds us that at any time, we can look to the mountains. In the Old Testament, mountains were synonymous with visitations from God. When God spoke to people or met with people, many times it was on a mountain or a high place. God spoke to Moses in the burning bush on Mount Horeb. Elijah ran away from King Ahab and to God at Mount Horeb. Mount Horeb was commonly referred to as God's Mountain, probably because God was revealed to some of the most influential leaders of Israel there. So when the Psalmist encourages us to look to the mountains, it is an invitation to look to God for comfort, guidance and strength.
On vacation, we like to spend time resting and relaxing, which is a wise and necessary thing to do. The Psalmist reminds us that God is always on duty, watching over us, and never gets tired and sleepy as we do. God is on duty 24/7/365 to answer prayers, to listen, to guide, to heal, to restore, to save, to be with us. So when you are tempted to leave God at home, remember that God wants to meet with you even in your resting times and in your vacation times. God does not take a vacation from loving us, but God will be with us, even during our resting vacation times.
Will you invite God to be on vacation with you?
Rev. Jan McCoy is the associate pastor of Covington First United Methodist Church in downtown Covington. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.