I used to hate having to leave a good vacation and get back to reality, until God made that vacation a reality. When people ask me what I’m doing for break, I’ve learned to quit saying what I’m going to do, but instead just say where I’m going. That leaves the page blank for God to come in and write a story worth telling.
With that being said, I ended up spending my 2018-2019 winter break with a family from Chicago, England, and a part of my own. I could write a book alone on all of the stories I’ve heard or things I’ve learned from them in only a few days. Here’s how it all happened, and I’m telling you all of this, so that you realize that you don’t have to be some fancy smancy, world traveler to encounter God through His creations.
I was in Greer, South Carolina, sitting on the couch with two of my aunts and an uncle on New Year’s Day, watching some parade on TV. Then my cousin Seth came in and visited with us for a little bit. Right before he left, he stuck his head back in the door, and said, “Oh and Sarah, you don’t have to stay here with old people all day. You can go hangout with us in Downtown Greenville if you’d like.”
With us? I had no clue who else he was talking about. His wife, daughter maybe? He didn’t say, I didn’t ask. I just said yes. I remember thinking, oh this is the perfect chance for me to grow closer to you God, when I had no control in what would turn out that day.
And what an adventure it was. A few family members that I knew tagged along, but Seth and his family also had some of their friends over for the holidays and they welcomed me like they had known me all along. I met the most adorable and sassiest little 6 year old ever. Mila is from England and said she could tell from the start that my British accent wasn’t a real one like hers. Dang it.
Almost every crosswalk passed, a conga line took place and I just couldn’t believe how bold and enthusiastic these people were. I mean just a day before, all 6 of them were strangers to me, and now they were buying me pizza and offering me a place to stay if I ever come visit their city one day.
After a day of exploring the beautiful Downtown Greenville, everybody met up back at my Aunt Denise’s house for New Year’s dinner, made by the brilliant chefs who should totally open up their own restaurant one day, Seth and Bates. While everybody was eating, Seth made a toast. He thanked everybody for coming together and although we were all so different from each other, we got along so well.
As my trip came to end, as much as I wanted to stay and get to know everybody a little bit more, I thought to myself what made the trip so special to me. It was the excitement of waiting to see what the day holds. It was meeting new people and reuniting with some I hadn’t seen in forever, and just getting those positive vibes off of them. It was feeling invited and apart of something. It was being in the moment and being perfectly okay with the moment.
And guess what? That’s how being in God’s presence feels. That’s how people of God treat each other. That’s how a life with Jesus Christ is lived. If that seems like a vacation and not everyday life to you, you are so missing out.