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How do You Plan Your Summer Holiday? - A Life Lesson
A boating holiday
Many years ago when our two children were only little we had a small cabin cruiser called the Laurian. The Laurian was a four berth 18ft Wavy Rider Wanderer and it was our first boat that had accommodation. The Laurian was moored on the river Trent at Beeston and from there we could access the British Inland Waterway network which used to be the arteries of British industry, used for transporting raw materials to various industrial centres and delivering manufactured products to all corners of the UK and beyond.
Friday evening of every weekend (weather permitting) all four of us would go away on the boat. Time on the boat seemed to take on a different quality. Boat days always seemed longer, fuller and better than home days. It was on this small boat that we as a family took our annual holiday.
Our Annual Holiday
Each year we would take off for a month in the summer during the long school break in our little boat. We would spend a lot of time during the winter months planning where we would like to go on our main holiday on Britain’s Inland Waterways system. As a result of this planning our holidays became very destination focused.
I remember one year we cast off from our moorings in Nottingham to go to London. This was a round trip of over 400 miles and just about as many locks. For those who don’t know, boats on the Inland Waterways travel at about four miles an hour, if you go any faster anglers fishing in the canal will soon shout at you and let you know, and going through a lock can take anything from about ten minutes to half an hour depending on the size and type of the lock.
Beeston lock is a large double lock that can hold more than one boat at a time the narrow locks can hold the maximum of one narrow boat up to seventy feet long and a double lock can usually hold two such boats side by side.
Larger River Lock
Most of the river locks however are much larger than the canal locks and are operated by lock keepers.
River Lock on the Thames
We would pour over our Canal maps calculating the distances and the number of locks that were involved and working out how far we could travel in an average boating day.
Because of our planning we had a goal or a destination to reach and this in turn meant that we had to cover a certain amount of ground each day in order to get there in the time that we had. Some days we could cover more miles than on others; it all depended on how many locks we had to go through.
We were always concerned about getting enough miles covered everyday so that we could stay on schedule. As a result of this we never seemed to have enough time just to stop and enjoy to the full where we were.
Map of the Inland Waterways
Keeping to a timetable
If we fell behind because we had a stretch with a lot of locks on we would then have to get up very early the next day and travel all day. In England in the summer it stays light right up until maybe 10.30pm and we would travel as long as we had the light just to make up the time.
Here I go again mentioning God but I have to give credit where credit is due, so then God gave us this revelation that our holiday was the journey not the destination. I know many of you already knew this but we didn't to us it was a revelation. This revelation really turned things round for us. Yes we still planned our holidays; we still had a destination in mind when we set off.
However, our destination was never again our main focus. Now our holiday began the moment we got on the boat. If we found somewhere nice we would just moor up and enjoy it for as long as we wanted to. We would look at the maps of the surrounding countryside and if we saw somewhere that looked interesting we would stop and moor up again and go off exploring.
Set free to enjoy
We had been set free from the tyranny of having a destination to arrive at. Our destination no longer made demands on us that had to be obeyed. Because our destination was no longer the focus of the holiday we were free from having to cover a certain number of miles each day. With our new found freedom we could change our destination if we liked or we could go further or not as far, it didn’t matter anymore all that mattered was that we enjoy ourselves as we travelled.
A life lesson
God showed us through this that the whole of life is a journey and that we needed to start enjoying the journey or we would become driven by our self imposed destinations.
Dangers of not learning this life lesson
I remember a couple who had become destination driven. This couple was always planning what they would do when their children were grown up, or when their house was paid off and they could retire. Because of their set destinations they kept putting things off until they arrived at this point in time.
The sad thing about this is they never did arrive at this point in time. Shortly before all these things came together the husband (of this couple) just up and left his family and went off with another woman. With this other woman he didn’t wait until he retired before he started to enjoy what he had, he began to do all the things he had put off for all those years.
This family didn’t get to enjoy the fruits of all their planning and sacrifice and the things that they put off doing, the sacrifices that they made for a future, were for nothing. This future, where they were going to do all that they had planned together, it turned out they didn’t get to have together.
Stop waiting for the future destinations to arrive
Stop waiting for the future destination to arrive before you enjoy life. Start enjoying your journey, live your life to the full where you are now. Take the time to experience to the full what you have now and who you are with now. Don’t just have children then spend your time waiting for them to get on to the next stage, thinking that’s when you will be able to relax and enjoy them a bit more. Enjoy whatever stage they are right now enjoy what they are going through while they are going through it.
Make the time and do it now!
Conclusion ~ Make the time
Make time for the things you want to do now and include your friends and family in your plans. Share your joy and life with others and your joy will increase and your life will be the richer for it. Learn how to be a giver the richest and best gifts in life are not dependant on money, love compassion care time who can put a value on these, they are priceless.
When you give time, love, joy, delight, friendship, care and compassion to others that’s what will multiply and increase in your own life.
Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Even if you don’t believe in God and think the Bible is a load of rubbish it will still work for you try it and you'll see.
I've tried it and it worked for me and those that I know who have tried it, I also know that it has worked for them. What you put into life determines what you will get out of life. Sow into the lives of others what you want to reap or get in your own.
Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.