July 1952

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"Dear Brother:

Just a few random notes before you go on your 1952 vacation. In another place I have written lately about vacations for preachers. What I wrote then was directed to our laity. These few lines are for us alone. I have often wondered about the good brother who says or writes somewhat proudly: "I haven't had a vacation for twenty-three years." My wonder is rooted in the question: "Is this really something to be proud of? Or has it perhaps been bad for the brother, for his congregation, and for his pastoral conference? Has he had a chance to read, to reflect, to meditate, to look to the hills from whence cometh his help?" Perhaps! My grandfather walking and driving the roads of Perry (bounty for 40 years saw the stars in their courses, the coming and going of the seasons, and the hand of God upon the turning earth. I remember that he carried his sermon texts on his mind, and they bounced around there almost as much as his body swayed in the old ministerial buggy. But we? You cannot meditate (or can you?) in a Pontiac on the streets of Cleveland, Detroit, or Chicago without running the immediate risk of a fatal accident. For the kind of meditation we need these hours and days we must have vacations. Even our Lord said to his weary disciples: "Come ye apart and rest a while." Therefore I hope you will have a vacation and that it will be all that you need and desire..."