Monday, July 13, 2009

Taking a Vacation From Prayer?

What a relaxing week at the beach! The weather could not have been more pleasant: low 80s everyday and not a cloud in the sky. I greeted each day early, savoring the opportunity to go for a long walk or bike ride while the rest of my vacation mates slumbered. At the beach, I read a whole novel, and at night I walked along the boardwalk with my family. Sheer harmony.

But when I got back home, I realized something: I had pretty much forgotten to pray throughout the whole vacation! Sure, there were moments, especially in the morning, when I thanked God for the sunshine, the ocean, the chance to be with close family. But did I ever get down on my knees--or even lie down in bed--to say an Our Father, a Hail Mary or to ask for blessings for others? Nope. I didn't even consider it.

What happened? Did I get so relaxed that I let go of my faith as well as my cares and worries? And why didn't I immediately feel guilty about the gaffe?

I'm hoping that God understands. Whatever tribulations had been on my mind before vacation trickled out of my head while at the beach, which means I'm able to concentrate better now that I'm back. (Well, I've only been back for two days, but so far so good!) Perhaps that was the spiritual as well as the emotional getaway I needed: to remove myself from the daily grind and to focus on the simplicity of nature. Now perhaps, with my batteries recharged, I can move ahead with prayer in a more relaxed and earnest fashion, instead of the speed and fury with which I'd been doing it before I left.

Nevertheless, praying on vacation would have been nice and should have been done. Now I'm praying that the next time I go on vacation, I remember to count my blessings and share them with God everyday.
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