“There’s no vacation from vocation.” That was the pithy saying, uttered by the spiritual director, that we took home with us for summer vacation from the high school seminary. Our diocese closed the high school seminary in the early 1970s as times changed and the numbers of high school seminarians decreased. The thought remains the same. There is no vacation from our vocation to follow Christ in a life committed to stewardship of God’s abundant gifts to us.
What abundant gifts to us? It is a simple matter of adding up all that God has given us. I urge everyone to grab a pen and paper, or open up a new document on your computer, and write down everything that you have. Don’t leave anything out. Take time to think about it, and write down everything that you have. Make a list of everything that you have, but with one rule to follow: make it a list of everything you have — that money did not buy. What would be on your list? Your list would reveal who you really are and what your purpose in life truly is.
There is no vacation from vocation, but there is vacation time. The word “recreation” really means “to re-create.” This tells us that the purpose of recreation isn’t the mindless passing of time, but rather a time to be re-charged for our true purpose in life. Our vacation time is a time to do just this, to be re-charged for our purpose, our vocation, in life. Here at my parish Immaculate Conception in Willoughby, Ohio, we have an annual “Oktoberfest in July” that is a true recreational pursuit. Hundreds of parishioners come together to do all of the work necessary for this a four-day festival. I am truly grateful to God for the hundreds of parishioners who volunteer their time each year to make our Oktoberfest such a wonderful community event, and it is a wonderful opportunity for our parishioners to come together and discover the joy in giving of their talents.
So what is on your list? Commit to a stewardship way of life, and I guarantee you that your list will grow. A generous person gratefully acknowledges all of God’s gifts and returns them to Him with increase. Use this vacation season to be re-charged in your call to follow Christ.