Whenever we were about to do something easy or pleasant — especially in comparison to more difficult things we had been doing — my father used to say that it would be “a walk along the beach.” Maybe that is the reason to this day my favorite vacations take me to a beach. A walk along the beach perfectly captures serenity, renewal and enjoyment for me.
What is it that makes some experiences “a walk along the beach” and other experiences a slow drudge through a hurricane? Do we have any control over the outcome?
On the way to work this morning, I got caught in a traffic jam on the interstate and came to a complete stop. The first thing that popped into my head was, “This is not as enjoyable as being caught in a traffic jam on the way to Florida.”
We spent 10 days vacationing in a little Gulf town near Destin, Fla. On the way down in Alabama, we were caught on the interstate in a traffic jam. The delay did not faze me one bit. We grabbed drinks from the cooler, turned up the music, and chatted about what could be causing the delay, wondering how the beaches looked, planning what we would do once we arrived.
When the traffic eased up this morning, the flow of vehicles guided me to the Ohio River bridge and I remembered thinking, “This is not as fun as crossing the bridge over the Choctawhatchee Bay heading to Santa Rosa Beach.”
As I continued the journey to work, I began to think about “why” I enjoyed — valued — the other experiences more. Obviously it was a vacation — I was not going to be dealing with the challenges and stresses of work. I placed a high importance and value upon that week of getting away from the daily routines. The scenery was different — prettier perhaps because it was not familiar —but no more a part of God's creation than the scenery to which I have become accustomed. The difference was the value that I placed on it … a decision made inside my mind.