What if God Took a Vacation!
Every summer kids look forward to summer vacation. No more homework, no more books and no more teacher’s dirty looks! Parents know all too well that barely a week later they are claiming boredom. When kids vacation from parents for two weeks at Camp Kazoo, many letters go home declaring the same thing or homesickness; which may or may not be true. Many end up with great adventures and great memories.
When first time parents take vacations from their children it is a similar story. They need the break, they’re glad to get away, Nana and Papa will take good care of them. No worries! Then the phone calls start. Checking in to see if all is well. Is baby eating? Is baby sleeping and napping on schedule? And that’s just while they are out to dinner!
These memories make us smile and remember when no one could do as well at parenting as ourselves. But what would happen in our lives or even in the universe if God took a vacation from his ungrateful demanding children. I asked my six year old granddaughter that question and she responded that “there would be a lot of trouble”. Like what I wondered and she told me there would be a lot of violence. Of course the whole idea is as ridiculous as taking a vacation from air.
If you have any faith you know that all of us would be unprotected from the powers of evil. Giving Satan free reign is unimaginable. Indeed there would be a lot of violence both in nature and among people. It wouldn’t take long for even the good to lose the ability to sustain their goodness because without God they would have no grace with which to fight off temptation. Many would fall into despair or even commit suicide. In reality, however, all would cease to exist and the universe would collapse because it is only the loving hand of God that holds everything in existence and keeps it all in balance.
Which makes one wonder how is it that it’s so easy for many people to take a vacation from God without a second thought. Grace before meals, forgotten...we’re on vacation. Morning and night prayers? Not on the schedule. Sunday Mass, oh God wants us to enjoy nature! Besides we didn’t bring any church clothes. We get homesick when away from home, even as adults sometimes. We send post cards and facebook pictures to those left behind but somehow we don’t miss God. How would it feel to arrive home and ask, did you miss me? And the answer was, No not really.
God is our Father, he provides a universe of wonders for our pleasure and to meet our necessities. He supplies us with angels to guard us from danger if we listen to them. He gives us each day our daily bread and will always forgive us when we turn to him. His love is unconditional and he proved it on the cross but to give Him a few words each day or offer worship for a measly hour one day a week is apparently an unwelcome intrusion on our schedule. If we treated friends or family this way, there would be divisions, rancor and hostility in no time. Before long no one would be on speaking terms.
So how is it good for us to ignore God or give him our leftover attention? Many seem to have forgotten that this life isn’t all there is and one day we shall have to give an accounting of how well we have loved and lived. It’s that simple. Yes love your neighbor, do no harm etc. But about the first commandment there seems to be some kind of amnesia. “I am the Lord, Your God!” As the kids would say He’s the boss of everything and everyone. We will answer to Him someday. The second part of that one is “You shall not put strange God’s before me.” Meaning that money, job, pleasures, status, power are not to take His place on your priority list. Then there is that other commandment to keep HOLY the Lord’s day. That means first to attend Mass then spend the day doing no work. It’s His day, honor it with family time versus shopping, lawn mowing, unnecessary chores, screen time etc.
If we think about it enough we have to conclude that we need God more than He needs us. He made us to know him, love him and be his hands here on earth. What does this careless attitude show about our relationship with God. Perhaps it’s like the relative or friend who has overstayed their welcome and we breathe a sigh of relief when they no longer are present needing our attention. But God isn’t demanding attention. He desires it because He loves us and wants to hear from us. He cares about our concerns, our joys, our troubles and our hopes. Most of all He desires our happiness and wants us to have a share in His divine life. If we only understood what God has prepared for us in eternity, we couldn’t separate ourselves from Him for a moment! Prayer is after all only a conversation with God. It doesn’t require Wi-Fi or internet connection. He can hear you from anywhere. Then go and visit face to face.