My husband and I love sushi. If you are a sushi lover, you understand this amorous affair. Besides being the most fantastic combinations of flavor and texture, sushi is, in its own right, art. Each hand-crafted piece is meant to be savored. Sushi’s fragility requires that you simply place the entire piece in your mouth, but in no way must you feel rushed in the process. In fact, much of the pleasure in eating sushi comes from drawing out what may be the quantitative equivalent of a 6pc. chicken nuggets and fries combo as long as possible as to cause each contrasting flavor to take a spin in the spotlight.
Yes, my husband and I love sushi. In fact, we love sushi so much that we ventured to take our three young children to our favorite sushi restaurant today while spending our last night in Durango. The tantalizing tango we intended to have with our tuna sashimi was quickly switched to a raucous honky tonk. Our 15 month-old, Judah, had had enough of incomplete naps on the road and (as with every restaurant experience on this trip) would not sit still or keep quiet. In between hurried bites of exquisitely sculpted pieces of raw fish my husband and I would take turns walking with Judah, taking our 3 yr.-old on repeated potty breaks, picking up five million chopsticks off the floor, comforting our five yr.-old who bashed his head on the table (yes, ashamedly at one point, we resorted to allowing the two older ones to play in the corner), and reading/singing to the kids. No amount of wasabi could have jump-started our weariness and no Zen garden could have encouraged serenity.
I wish I could report that our family vacation was vindicated after the other day. I am still bewildered at the the futility that has marked this vacation experience. We have traveled the world with our kids! This is Durango, Colorado! Lord, You know we need a break! In a nutshell, if this week’s vacation had been a reality TV show it would have been rated “E” for exhaustion. The TV announcer would have said something like this: “Do you think you really need a break? Are you considering a vacation with your kids? Think again. Stay tuned as cameras follow this family on a road trip to Colorado.” The opening would flash images of our family hitting every store in Durango looking for a swimsuit, then to the disappointment over the kids faces when we found that the hot springs in Ouray were closed for cleaning, then to bumping along a jeep trail, then to tonight…sushi.
We are heading home in the morning. Our road trip has come to an end, but we are making plans to begin our “getaway.” Rather than wait for the next big vacation, we have determined to schedule more dates and deliberately seek to grow as parents and spouses…in our lives at home. God has convicted our hearts: So much of our hope was placed on this getaway. It was to be our refreshing, our family bonding, our time away. Instead, we were fatigued, frustrated, and felt every bit as stressed as being at home but with less sleep. The simple truth is that our hope cannot ever be on an event, a place, a feeling, or even one another. Can anything ever satisfy like the Lord? He is our sufficiency and our Hope. If we are weary…go to Christ, who said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) If we are overwhelmed…go to His Word that reminds us that”…my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) If we are in need of hope…look to the cross: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3) He is good, and He knows what we need.