`SIX months' vacation, twice a year, with pay'' was the policy my father jokingly endorsed. But my father, who had his own business, didn't take much vacation time. And now that I'm a mother with a family, I wonder if my father wasn't thinking, in more serious moments, of how to have the refreshment, the new perspectives, that a vacation promises. The trouble is, of course, that the travel or recreation of a vacation doesn't always bring the refreshment we may want so much. As much fun as the change can be at the time, the same old challenges, routines, pressures, can quickly close in once the vacation is over and the workweek starts again.
I'm not arguing against vacations! But the relief we sometimes expect from them -- the new outlook, the freedom and peace -- really comes from another source. This freedom and peace are spiritual qualities, not something we can find just by changing to another place or time. And since they are spiritual, they come from God.
``Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,'' said Jesus. This passage is frequently quoted when comfort is needed. And we receive relief, find rest, because coming to Christ is coming to the true, spiritual idea of God. We feel able to lay down our burdens and personal problems because Christ Jesus' example shows us that God is good, and we feel the infinity, supremacy, omnipotence, of His goodness.
Thinking of ourselves in relation to God -- in relation to the infinite -- instead of in relation to a career or the economy or an employer, brings a new perspective or gives a new context to a familiar landscape. As the first photographs of earth from orbit gave mankind a new view of itself, so seeing ourselves from the perspective of God's infinity may radically readjust our views.
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures that mortals must ``...gain some proper sense of the infinite.'' The entire sentence reads: ``Mortals must gravitate Godward, their affections and aims grow spiritual, -- they must near the broader interpretations of being, and gain some proper sense of the infinite, -- in order that sin and mortality may be put off.''
The perspective of God's infinity brings freshness to thought and gives us the ability -- the dominion -- to put off the limits of human existence. And as we gain a better sense of the infinite, we are able to see through anxieties, indulgences, and timetables as misunderstandings of the infinity of Life, God.
The understanding of God's infinity gives us space to grow, to break out of false molds and expectations, to change our course and proceed with spiritual authority. It shows us that man is not the narrowed-down personality that acquaintances may stereotype or that appears in a rsum. True man is spiritual, the image and likeness of infinite God.
This liberated sense of real nature and of the spiritual universe is what is truly refreshing. Sometimes we glimpse it when we do something new and different on vacation. But we always find it and keep it when we welcome the true idea of God -- Christ -- into consciousness. And we don't need to wait for a vacation to do this!