September 27, 2011
Immediately He (Jesus) made the disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds. And after He had dismissed the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone. Matthew 14:22-23
Not so many years ago I remember how American workers were told they should be like the Japanese: absolutely, completely, totally dedicated to the success of the company for which they worked. I remember how people were told if they worked hard enough, American products and labor would, once again, be highly regarded.
Well, that was then and this is now.
Now, according to a survey done by Expedia.com, American workers are to be more like the French and take most, if not all, of their vacation time.
The survey found that the average U.S. worker earns 18 vacation days compared to 37 for the average Frenchman. More importantly, the French workers take almost all their vacation time, while one third of Americans don't come close.
Now Expedia.com says there are many, many reasons why you should use your vacation time. It makes you more productive when you return to work; it widens your horizons; it makes you more relaxed; it seems to help ward off certain diseases.
Even as the travel company was encouraging the taking of vacations, it also acknowledged that at this particular time people may have good reasons for staying at their desks. Tony Schwartz, author of a Harvard Business Review article on the subject of productivity, says, "If colleagues around us are being laid off and cut back, we can't help worrying that our jobs may be next. ... we push ourselves harder ... we get more done ...."
Now I can't say what is right for you, I can share what Jesus sometimes did. When He was tired, when He was stressed, when He was worn down, the Savior went off by Himself and prayed. Now a night spent in prayer probably can't be called a "vacation."
On the other hand, communing with the Creator can and does have some wonderful blessings. Sharing your joys and sorrows, hopes and disappointments with a loving and gracious Lord settles the heart, stills the soul, gives direction and provides peace of mind.
If you haven't tried it, you might wish to "take it to the Lord in prayer."
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, "What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer! Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh, what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer!" In the Name of Jesus, this is my prayer. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries