I’ve heard it said by many that if you don’t come apart, you will come apart. Some attribute the saying to Jesus, but I can’t find it in any red letter edition of the Bible. And yet, Jesus certainly demonstrated the principle even if He didn’t say it. From time to time, we all need a break—some time away from work. The old nursery rhyme says, “All work and no play will make Jack a dull boy. A dull boy…huh? How about a dead boy? We were not created to work 24/7. Even God took a day off after finishing the work of creation in six days.

We took a few days off this weekend—took a time out—just disappeared and reappeared, somewhere in a generously loaned house down by the river. I’m still not sure how to get there, but we got there, and “there” was heavenly. Its hidden location was so deep in the woods my precious I-phone had no service. Imagine that—no service—no internet—no text messages—no email—no phone calls—no nothing! The phone was useless. We chose not to take a cable box so the television was black and silent—no signal—on purpose. How in the world did you survive you might be thinking? Gloriously I might add.

The aroma of the forest and the river was overwhelming. The smell was intoxicating. The sounds—frogs, crickets, hawks, and mocking birds—were deafening. They were all singing at the tops of their voices praising the One who had created them. They were not worried, anxious, uncertain, or fearful. They relaxed my mind and rescued me from my stress, which threatened to overwhelm me. Yes, I can hear you thinking—you shouldn’t be stressed—just trust Jesus. Well…I’m working on that and you should too. The night was blacker than I anticipated, but the skies were filled with more stars than I can ever remember seeing. It was a better show than the fireworks on the 4th of July from Red Mountain. There were also a lot of sounds from creatures I don’t know or want to meet. All in all is was beyond wonderful.

And for $2.50 at Wal-Mart I enjoyed 8-10 hours of sheer joy and unlimited pleasure over the span of two afternoons. That’s the cost of 50 crickets. Bait a hook, pitch it in the river, and watch the bobber. If it goes under, reel the fish in. If not, just sit and enjoy the breeze, the sounds, the sights, and the smells of the river.

Best of all, Cathy and I could talk without interruptions. We could relax and be ourselves. That’s really hard to do when you are pulled in a thousand directions at breakneck speed by a million good things clamoring for your full attention. I would talk and she could listen. She could talk and I would listen. And the wonderful thing about all that is—we could hear and understand what the other one was saying.

Are you stressed out? Pulled in a thousand directions? Running from one deadline to another? Do you feel as though you are coming apart at the seams? Then pull apart and take a few days off. There are a million things you can do without spending a fortune and most of those relaxing things are free—created by God for our pleasure. Try it—you might like it!