The Stress of Vacation

Posted by on 06/26/2017 in:

As I write, it is 4 a.m. I’m not used to 4 a.m. It’s dark, my house is cold, and I don’t have the drive to turn my coffee pot on. You read that right . . . I am writing without coffee.

An important question you’re hopefully asking yourself is, ‘“Why? What would cause this man to be awake so early, and trying to function without coffee?’”

The answer is pretty simple . . . vacation.

My family and I are leaving for vacation today, and I don’t know about you, but the nights before I leave for vacation are historically bad nights of sleep for me. Excitement paired with the fear of forgetting . . . well, everything, is overwhelming.

As I pull together the final things I need to pack, I am thankful for the little things. I’m thankful that over the past year I have accumulated four new chargers for my iPhone and iPad, so I don’t have to disconnect the ones that are basically built into my bed frame. I am thankful for my noise cancelling headphones. I am thankful for my backpack and all its different compartments so that I can easily separate my Macbook from my Chex Mix (an imperative snack for flying).

Also, I am very, very thankful for technology. Especially this week.

You see, when I get back from vacation, I will have 10 days until I preach at my church. For me, this takes A LOT of planning—not because I’m super intellectual and plan to go 14-layers deep into the genealogy of Christ (I don’t know where 14 came from?). Rather, it’s because I only preach once or twice a year. The other Sundays I am either leading worship services or banging around on some drums. That’s right . . . I’m a drummer.

At this point I feel that it is necessary to tell my dad’s favorite drummer joke:

Dad: “Hey Kyle, how do you get a drummer off your front porch?”

Me (Eyeroll. Glare. Give in): “ . . . How Dad?”

Dad: “Pay him for the pizza!”

You can use that one this week if you’d like. If you have a drummer in your church, I am honestly curious if he/she has heard that one. My guess is that you may get an eyeroll too, but don’t let that stop you.

Anyway . . .

One essential tool to any great vacation is my Bible. I love doing my devotional reading in new, fun places. I have a spot all mapped out where we are going. There is a bench that sits under a lone tree that overlooks the beach. It’s close enough to the water to hear the waves break, but not so close that I fear a bird will swoop down and eat my blueberry scone. Perfect.

On this trip in particular, I am looking forward to some deep studying on that bench. I know the subject I’m going to speak on that Sunday, but I also know that I have a lot of work to do to prepare—work that can all be done without wifi from my iPad with Olive Tree’s Bible App.

While having my Bible is obviously important for study, I also rely on other study resources. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • NKJV Strong’s Tagged Bible (a Strong’s Tagged Bible is a MUST HAVE in the Olive Tree app, in my opinion)
  • Vine’s Dictionary
  • NKJV Study Bible Notes
  • NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible
  • Expositor’s Bible Commentary – Revised
  • The Bible Speaks Today OT and NT sets

Having all of these in the palm of my hand makes me confident that my sermon is going to come together quite nicely. Sure, there may be a few more beach references than normal, but it’s going to be packed with great information that will be helpful to my church community. I’m thankful that, out of all the worries I have this morning before we leave for vacation, how I’m going to write this sermon is not one of them.

Where is the most exotic place you have written a sermon?

This blog was written by Kyle Menasco, an Olive Tree Bible employee.

1 Comment

  • Jon says:

    Like you, I’ve done sermon prep on the beach. Multiple times on the Florida panhandle (my ostensible “home” when not at our home and place of ministry, Krakow, Poland), but also on the island of Brac, Croatia (vacationing, like you). But my favorite “exotic” place must be the Tatra mountains, sitting outside the cabin, with the snow-capped mountains looming nearby. I don’t know what it is about the mountains, but I swear I get my best sermon inspirations there. Highly recommend it. 🙂

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