I’ve been sheepish telling folks about the trip my wife and I took this summer.
I didn’t post pics on Facebook, or broadcast it on other social media outlets. I told myself it just wasn’t smart to publicly announce we were going to be away, though our best friends were housesitting for us and the place was secure.
Truthfully, our excursion seemed too extravagant a splurge to talk about much. I didn’t want our peers and associates to get the idea we’d gone opulently over-the-top in recreational indulgences. I was afraid we might be perceived as showing off, or attempting to make others feel jealous or less privileged.
Isn’t that silly? I need a counselor, don’t I?
Funny how now I’m coming completely out of the closet to the entire Wilmington News Journal community with the announcement. So much for my feigned humility.
Do you know where we vacationed? Maui. There, I said it.
We had a great trip. It was a special joy to us for at least three reasons.
First, all those magnificent Hawaiian-themed venues you’ve heard about were, well, magnificent. From luaus to parasails; flower leis to fire dancers; and waterfalls to ocean surf, everything was truly magnificent. All the scenery, accoutrement and cuisine were pure paradise as anticipated.
(We partook of delicacies we didn’t even know were edible. Poi? Made from fermented taro root? Really?)
Second was the crowd I hung out with. I was blessed to have an undistracted, fully focused audience of one: my wife, Robyn. I love taking family vacations, and we almost always travel with relatives, in-laws, kids and grandkids. Even on our honeymoon, we went camping with the family at Lake Cumberland. Seriously.
(How many people can say the highlight of their honeymoon was a barefoot skiing injury?)
It’s been 40 years since Robyn and I have been away alone for more than a weekend. So, Maui was like our “second honeymoon”, only this time without relatives in the camper next door. I’m not sure our alone time is atop Robyn’s list of notable takeaways, but it was for me, for sure.
Third, and this is subjective, was our convening with Father God there. God is everywhere of course, but He was really everywhere there it seemed. The sense of wonder abounded as we gazed in awe at the pristine beauty about us.
As we watched the sun set (didn’t see any sunrises; sorry, we were on vacation you know), we recognized the haunting immensity of the universe. And in the sublime majesty of the moment, we had to meekly acknowledge our miniscule personal piece of God’s immeasurable creation.
We came to realize how big God is, and how small we are.
Isaiah chapter 40, verses 25-28 says it like this:
“To whom then will you liken Me
That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes on high
And see who has created these stars,
The One who leads forth their host by number,
He calls them all by name;
Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power,
Not one of them is missing.
God cares about us deeply. Just as He knows the stars by name, He knows your name also, and sovereignly arranges opportunities, like ours in Maui, to reveal His love to us. And, perhaps, since God is everywhere, we just need to take time to look.
Next week, let’s talk about a really cool picture we had taken of us while watching a Maui sunset. I’m sure this sounds like a prearranged portrait with a professional photographer, but it occurred without our even knowing about it. But God knew. I’ll explain.
Dave Hinman is Pastor Emeritus at Dove Church Wilmington. Reach him at [email protected] .
This weekly column is provided to the News Journal on a monthly rotation basis by members of the Wilmington Area Ministerial Association.