Vacation season is just around the corner! Time for rest, relaxation, reconnection and restoration. If you are in the frozen north enduring the Polar Vortex, I think I can hear your collective cry for a vacation to a warm destination!
Whether you are currently making vacation plans or have already had plans set since last year; whether you are doing a “stay-cation” or going to the Bahamas — I wanted to share a story about how I learned to invest in my vacation in a way that brought a better return in my life. It has to do with thinking about vacation through the lens of the Five Capitals (get 3DM’s book Oikonomics to learn all about the Five Capitals).
One of the biggest “aha” moments of my life came from learning about rhythms of work and rest through 3DM’s Semi-Circle tool, which is rooted in Genesis 1 and John 15. We don’t rest from our work, we work from a place of rest. And when we abide in Christ, we bear fruit. Without rest and abiding, we produce nothing of long-term value. At our core, we are human beings, not human doings.
As I observed and reflected on this truth, I recognized that instead of having rhythms of working and resting, I actually had an unhealthy “shadow rhythm” of striving and crashing! For all sorts of underlying reasons, I would just go-go-go and strive my way through each day, and then when vacation came, I would just crash. Which meant that, ironically, I wasn’t actually resting! It wasn’t really abiding, it was simply escaping and trying to recover from my striving. It would take me several vacation days to “come to” and really start resting, abiding, and reconnecting with myself, God and others.
At the time, my Huddle leader encouraged me to think about vacation as a time to invest in the top four of the Five Capitals, so I could see a return on the investment of a time of abiding. The Five Capitals, in order of value, are:
- Spiritual (my relationship with God)
- Relational (my relationships with others)
- Physical (my ability to expend time and energy)
- Intellectual (my creativity and problem-solving)
- Financial (my money)
By definition, on vacation we are not growing our financial capital, since we are not working. But instead of thinking of vacation as spending financial capital, think of it as investing financial capital in order to grow the other four capitals! When we are on vacation we have an opportunity to invest our financial capital to grow our other capital. Here are a few things my family and I did the first time we went into a vacation with this kind of intentionality.
- Growing spiritual capital: Daily morning prayer and Bible reading (more time than usual), studied a spiritual enrichment book, prayed with kids each night, did a lot of journaling.
- Growing relational capital: Took special dates with each of our kids, played lots of games, watched a lot of movies together, went for a lot of walks together, dates as a couple.
- Growing physical capital: Got back into a workout routine, got to bed early, slept in a bit, daily activity.
- Growing intellectual capital: Picked out two books to read in order to be inspired and learn new things. One fiction book and one nonfiction book.
For some people, that might seem like too much intentionality for a vacation, but for us, the results spoke for themselves. At the end our our vacation, I came away actually feeling
- Spiritually refreshed
- Relationally reconnected
- Physically rested
- Intellectually reinvigorated
As I was intentional to spend time abiding, I found I was much more fruitful when swinging back into work. It felt great to work from a place of rest.
Using the Five Capitals as a lens for how to abide well during our vacations was tremendously helpful. We are able to get filled up by the Father thus enabling us to move out in his power and strength.