Posted by Peggy Utley

Some of life’s experiences have happened a long time ago and yet they linger in our memory as if they happened yesterday. The year was 1969, and we were home on furlough from our missionary service in Brazil. During a three week period we camped across the United States with friends from Salisbury, NC. I will never forget traveling across the barren land in the Pan Handle of Texas with a limitless view of dessert and no trees in sight. The same scene continued into New Mexico with straight roads as far as the eye could see and no trees. And then, we arrived in Flagstaff, Arizona with the beautiful, tall ponderosa pine trees lining the road on both sides. It was like arriving at an oasis in the dessert. I can still vividly remember how refreshing it was to four North Carolinians to see greenery again.

A similar refreshing experience in the midst of months of political debates, advertisements, negative ads, insults and character assignations’, TV talk show speculations and hype has now been given to us with the arrival of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

We all need breaks in life from the mundane, the routine, the aggravation, the frustrations and even the day to day grind. When crowds pressed in on him, Jesus was known to get away from it all either by going fishing with his disciples or going up into the mountains to rest and pray. His strategy for coping with life’s pressures was to come apart from the pressures and stresses before you fall apart.

Vacations, breaks and pauses are healthy and should not be neglected. Last May, before summer began, I urged you to get away from your routine responsibilities and enjoy some quiet time of physical and spiritual renewal. From time to time we all need an oasis, scenes of refreshment and times of renewal. If you have not gotten away for a time of refreshment, why not plan it right now.

In His Love,

Charles