There never seems to be enough time to do everything we want or need to do. The irony for those who live in the Western world is that we have unprecedented access to all manner of time- and labor-saving devices. But as the world economy continues to tighten, how you can find the time or money to take a relaxing vacation?
What would you say if I told you that God provides a "vacation" for us—if we follow His instructions in the Bible? It's true. God laid out a spiritual vacation plan for mankind. He designed it as time away from the cares, frustrations and demands of this world. Every week He gives us His Sabbath and every year He provides His annual festival days as spiritual vacation days! Let's look at one of God's annual festivals—the Feast of Tabernacles.
We are told in Leviticus 23, where the festivals are listed, that on the ancient Hebrew calendar, "the fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the Lord" (Leviticus 23:34). That corresponds to a September-October time frame on the modern calendar.
How does keeping the Feast of Tabernacles become a vacation from the world? Part of the point of these holy festivals is to show us that this world is temporary. The Feast of Tabernacles or Ingathering pictures a time when abundance will fill the earth. During this week we are to enjoy special meals and family outings to help us physically envision the era when Jesus Christ will directly rule the nations on earth—the time of the Kingdom of God.
In fact the Bible says, "You shall spend that money [saved up for the feasts] for whatever your heart desires, for ox or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the Lord your God" (Deuteronomy 14:26). The funds referred to are part of a tithe (literally 10 percent) of our income that God tells us to save and use to rejoice before Him at His annual feasts. It's the way we honor and acknowledge God's blessings while enjoying some good things we may not be able to afford the rest of the year.
If we obey God's law of tithing, then we have almost a tenth (allowing for costs involved in also observing the other annual festivals) of our annual earned income to spend in a little more than a week and the time for travel. You can afford and enjoy a pretty nice time with a tenth of your annual income! Plus, we have that week to set aside the cares of the world. We don't have to worry about work, chores, errands, problems or concerns for an entire week. We can focus on something bigger than our lives—something that will last for eternity.
If you'd like to learn more about taking a wonderful vacation from the world, please request our free booklet God's Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind. You can read it online or order your free copy at www.ucg.org/booklets. Happy (spiritual) vacationing!