Just last Sunday I was on the last day of my vacation and was in the naval museum in Portsmouth England where they have a naval ship from the 1500’s, one from the 1700’s, and another from the late 1800’s that was used into the 1900’s. It is always challenging when you see the small area that people have to live on in a ship, but looking at them from over these three periods really made you appreciate the advances that have been made and the luxuries we have in our lives today. An obvious change is that I could take a vacation like that and fly across the ocean in hours, but I could even keep up with the Cardinal’s games on my phone or the weather back home (which I can say I wasn’t sad to have missed) each day on my phone. We realize we have so much in our lives, even just compared to just a few years ago hopefully it makes us wonder about what really matters to us and what should.
Coming home from a vacation we also realize the things in our daily life that we really appreciate that we often take for granted, from our kitchens, our bathrooms (I know why they call them water closets in England), to our beds. And for me the nice fact that I have a church right next door to celebrate Mass with others each morning.
But also we might have found or reminded ourselves of other things in our life that we might change a little, from a certain new food or drink that you’ve realized you like, (the fish and chips was good, but they didn’t sell me on the haggis) to maybe just recognizing all the museums and cathedrals we have in our back yards that we could appreciate more.
And we also have to consider the people on our vacations. Whether it was those we traveled with, those we visited, or maybe just some we met along the way. While it isn’t doubtful that we might have had a tense moment or two (you missed the turn) but hopefully they were far outweighed by good experiences that may have grown, strengthened, or started new relationships.
I know I had a good vacation, as I hope most of you also have this summer, but hopefully it doesn’t just end when we come home but it makes us more aware of, appreciative of, and open to use the many blessings we have in our lives each day.