Friday, August 21, 2009
Summer is vacation time for many of us. Vacations take us away from our home and community of faith. Often, when on vacation, we take a vacation from church, synagogue or mosque.
An article in today's New York Times describes finding an alternate spiritual home while on vacation. Titled, "Sea, Sand, Faith: Far From Home but Closer to Heaven," author Neela Banerjee tells stories of folks finding a deep spiritual connection while on vacation. Here's the link (cut and paste in your web browser): http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/21/greathomesanddestinations/21Religion.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper.
Some find a deeper spiritual connection on vacation because they are in a place of natural beauty and because they are more relaxed. As the article says, "The beauty of mountains or the sea can open vacationers to a deeper spiritual experience."
I find vacations can be a time to discover a deeper spirituality. First, we're in a different context and that evokes different thoughts and feelings from within. Secondly, we usually spend more time outside and that offers opportunities to enjoy the beauty of creation. Thirdly, we are usually more relaxed and, therefore, more open and receptive to the sacred dimension of life.
When we go on vacation, we don't only take our bodies, we also take our souls. As C.S. Lewis once wrote, "You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." Vacations at their best nourish body, mind and soul.