The fleeting thoughts of did-I-fit-everything-in-the-car and did-I-forget-something jitters, as you reverse out the driveway, pass swiftly as you embark on that getaway camping holiday. The traffic, the impatience, the stress of that slow driver and caravans that clog the road to your relaxation destination.

You arrive, the friends arrive, and the big unpack begins. Everything has its place and everything in it’s place… but the kids make short work of that concept. Eventually the site is setup. You plonk yourself down. Gaze at the trees, the blue sky, the grass, the power lines and mutter the famous line from the Australian movie, The Castle, “…ahh, the serenity”.

Then more friends arrive, the campsite is a buzz. Chairs are rearranged and the invaders are gladly invited into the circle. A few drinks and stories begin to flow. Chatter, laughter, and great conversation punctured by the occasional instruction by a concerned mum for more sunscreen, ‘put your hat back on’ and ‘just one more, okay!’

The sun approaches the western horizon and the desire for fishing seeps into the conversation. Rods, reels, bait, kids…check! Let’s go. Off to ‘the spot’. After a meandering walk along the river, a jetty is commandeered and the fishing begins. Kinda. ‘ewww…dad can you bait my hook’. Lines are cast. *plonk* Okay that was just a practice one as you reel in the line that hit the water a couple of metres away. Wizzzzzzzz…ahh, better.

You eagerly reel in the line. nothing. Wizzzzzz…. reel in. Nothing. Wizzzzzz…. reel in. Then a squeal of delight, “Whoa! I’ve got something! ” Excitement mounts as the promise of the first fish is being reeled in. Everyone looking on wishing it were them holding that bent over rod. The catch is hoisted up for all to see. A T-shirt! Beats a boot 😉 Back to casting.

The next catch is a snag. No, that’s not a sausage you can cook on the B-B-Q. It’s some tree debris that has taken your line, hook and sinker. You fight that snag as if it were a Marlin…but to no avail. The line is reluctantly cut and you are relegated to the upper bank of the river with the tackle box and a mutter of discontent as you reconstruct the business end of that line!

Darkness squeezes out the last moments and the mozzies, who thrive on our brand of mosquito repellent, encourage us to retreat back to the campsite for an early night vowing to return in the morning to catch breakfast.

Yep, we are on holidays 😉 We’re hooked… not like those elusive fish. We really do crazy things at times. But, as I reflect upon this great tradition of camping, it dawns on me that even in the midst of rushing, driving, stress, camp setup, kids, relaxing, water, foldout chairs, fishing, rain, sunburn, friends, and all the other things we squeeze into our holidays, we gain a great satisfaction as we realise that we actually do wind down from our reality and really, really busy lives to enjoy the slightly different paced Holidays. It’s the change. The Fishing. Family. Friends. The chatter. The creation of memories for our kids. Yes, and even the gaze upon the power lines. It’s the vibe of it all.

All these things take the focus off our everyday lives and bring rest to our minds and bodies.

For some this maybe the only time that they can restore their sanity. But for many, it isn’t enough… there is still something missing.

What brings rest to our deepest parts? What brings rest to our soul?

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:28-31

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Matthew 11:28,29

I love my holidays. But I love my Lord even more. With a rested soul, the holidays are enhanced and are enjoyed even more!

Maybe you need rest for your soul. Well, what better way to get a fresh start in 2010 than to know the Creator of our Souls, intimately. CLICK HERE if you do.

For the rest of us, I hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday. You may even like to leave a comment and share with me some of your holiday memories below.