People of all ages must discover the importance of getting away, that is, times of refreshment, relaxation, and refocus. Jesus certainly understood that as He left to go up on the mountain, sit there and pray (Matthew 15:29). He knew the importance of sleep when fatigued, taking a nap even as a storm engulfed the fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 8:24). He urged His followers to “come apart.” As Vance Havner once said, “If you don’t come apart, you will come apart!” Naturally, this is why Sabbath rest, vacations, and even breaks during the day are important. Jesus knew the importance of pausing instead of pressing, as well as persistent activity.
The most notorious industrial accidents in previous years, including the Exxon Valdez, Three-Mile Island, and Chernobyl occurred in the middle of the night. An Iranian A300 Airbus was shot down, killing 290 people aboard. Fatigue-stressed operators in the high-tech Combat Information Center on the carrier, the USS Vincennes, misinterpreted radar data and reportedly told the Captain that the jet was descending as if to attack. Also, in the Challenger space shuttle disaster, key NASA officials made the ill-fated decision to launch after getting only 2-3 hours of sleep the night before in a 20-hour shift. We imperil others as well as ourselves when we do not rest or reload.
As a 16-year old, I was scholar-shipped to attend a student camp in the woods of northern Arizona, gaining salvation assurance and tools to establish a quiet time. Our church camps for students and children this week also have a tremendous impact as we get them away from certain peers, conflicts at home, the constant inflow of the media, computers, and cell phones. We get their undivided attention to be able to share the gospel, impart truth, build bonds of unity and, most of all, encourage them to say, “Here am I” Jesus. Pray for Greg Clydesdale, Kevin Taylor, Andy Wells, Todd Villemont, Eric Yeldell, Shelly Jeffcoat, myself and others as we allow the Lord to pour truth into these precious young hearts. Pray for many to be saved.