Tuesday, August 16, 2005


I just returned from the most refreshing of vacations. What I love about vacation is that I am away from home at the stresses of home. On vacation marriages are smoother, days are easier, and fun abounds.

Our travels took us to Cleveland, Hershey, Boston, Plymouth Rock, and Niagara Falls. It was blast. The best part was time to enjoy life, and enjoy Michelle.

It causes me to think though, why we tend to need to get away from it all to really enjoy it. Not that I do not enjoy life and it’s activities every day. However, through our holiday (that is what they call vacation in Canada) I find a deeper sense of appreciation for Michelle, and she for me.

So it dawns on me, that stress is rooted in worry, and worry is from the devil and sin. So why do we worry? Why don’t we just live life like it was a holiday, at least free from the stress part?

Matthew 6:27-34 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


steve said...

Hey holiday boy-
Welcome back. Sounds like you had a great trip and I'm glad for you. If anyone deserves one, you guys certainly do!

Just one question... isn't living life as a holiday, a luxary for the few? How do I take seriously what you're saying (which I think has relevance to our western culture), and apply it to the majority world where stress is life due to oppression and violence? No one chooses stress in these situations.

Maybe it's not a fair question. I certainly don't mean it to sound shaming. I'm just thinking out loud.

Joe said...


I don't mean to live life as a holiday. Something I am sure was not clear in the post. My bigger question is what does life look like without worry? Jesus tells us not to worry, but I do, a lot. So, I am just trying to figure it out.

I appreicate thinking about the majority of the world as well. The passage in Matthew seems more appropriate to them. People who honestly do not know where their next meal will come from. It is a question that is relevant to all of us. We all have stress and oppression, in different ways. (By no means do I seek to equate third world hardships to western ones. All I am saying is we all have worry).

Alas, I do not seek to live life as a holiday, few of us have the luxury. But how do we live without worry, that is truly dependent on God.

Mike Rohde said...

Joe, funny you should post this within hours of my own thoughts on Nathan's ability to fully embrace and enjoy joyful moments given to him — and how I need to do the same:


The kernel of wisdom I drew from your post was this: whatever situation you are in, there is always something, even maybe a small thing which you can accept and enjoy. In your case, a road trip reminded you of your ability to have joy in Michelle.

I'm currently reading a book about travels in China, shortly after the 10 year "Cultural Revolution" there (Riding the Iron Rooster). One of the professors who had been sent to a work camp as punishment for being an intellectual was very hard, opressive labor.

However, even in this desparate situation, this man said he survived because he knew that the end of the day when he slept, he would dream of joyful times he remembered as a child. He said directly that this knowledge — that he could dream and they couldn't stop him — was the one thing which kept him going.

So I think joy in small things and letting go of worry (as much as we can) seems to be one of the keys to freedom and joy.

A. Engler said...

Our worrying stems, I am convinced, straight from the fall. It's the root of all sin. We worry because of pride, idolatry, and the like. We worry because WE want to be in control. WE want to rule, as opposed to God. And thus, we wish to "be like God."