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PVSD (Post-Vacation Stress Disorder) is a Real Thing

Have you ever experienced PVSD (Post-Vacation Stress Disorder)?  It’s a real thing.  I looked it up on the internet. 

Laura and I just got back from “vaca” a few days ago, where our thoughts of COVID-19, national turmoil, political warfare, and E91’s “new normal” were gloriously suspended for about a week.  We sat by a pool and read, hiked in the Hoosier National Forest, and visited some amazing restaurants in B-Town.

And then . . . home again, home again, jiggety-jig. 

If you ever experience any of the following symptoms, you know you’ve got it—PVSD that is: Trouble concentrating during conversations, lack of awareness of people around you, unable to process own thoughts, not conducive to doing things like: work, thinking, crossing streets, being mindful of your general safety.  If it feels like you’re wearing a giant pair of dirty contacts over your brain, then you definitely have PVSD.

So, what can you do about it?

Here’s the best remedy I’ve found, especially when you’re stepping back into a world of chaos such as we have right now: RHYTHM.  When you go on vaca, you step out of your normal rhythm and into a new flow of life, even if it’s only for a few days.  That’s a good thing.  We all need a break in order to recalibrate, renew and refresh.  This is the whole concept of the Sabbath, not only resting because we’re tired, but breaking out of our daily rhythm in order to do a reset. Vacations can do the same thing.

Here’s the catch, though.  We don’t reset in order to just go back into old rhythms that burn us out and drag us down.  We reset into improved rhythms that deepen our spiritual and emotional health. 

Sometimes my iPhone 6 (yes, I’m one of those guys) gets stuck.  I can’t navigate through my calendar or my address book, and the only thing I can do is reboot my phone.  When I do, it’s good as new.  That’s a great metaphor for our need to vaca, our need to sabbath, and our need to establish regular, consistent, healthy rhythms. 

God ordered the universe as such, and He’s oriented our lives to the quality of consistency.  Not boredom and blandness, but consistency. 

Every day the sun rises and the sun sets.  We sleep while God works, and we awake to His new mercies every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).  We work five days, sabbath one day for celebration and contemplation, and reserve another day to catch up for our multitudinous honey-do lists.

When we keep a healthy life rhythm, we discover that our re-entry from vacation doesn’t have to lead to PVSD.  Our vaca reboot helps us improve our life rhythm, even when the world’s rhythm is out of whack.

Posted by Rick Grover, Lead Pastor with

Civility in an Uncivil Time

I don’t know about you, but I have a growing concern about the lack of civility in our civilization. Have you ever read a Facebook or NextDoor group conversation that begins with a simple post, question or statement and quickly digresses into disagreement, degradation, and basic incivility? It also happens in emails, texts, on the news, and sometimes even at the local grocery store.

Rude behavior sometimes overwhelms the general kindness that can also be found everywhere. One comment, glare, or honk can undo the work of many kind smiles and friendly greetings. More recently, rude behavior seems to be tipping the scales over general kindness.

Frank Bruni, who is about as far left as one can be, writes in the New York Times that “we’re in a dangerous place when it comes to how we view, treat and talk about people we disagree with… What has happened to our discourse, and how do we make necessary progress—when hate is answered by hate, prejudice by prejudice, extremism begets extremism and ostensible liberalism practices illiberalism?”

Those are good questions. And the answer is that progress will never be made until we learn to speak with one another again, not just online or behind a device, but face to face as well. And followers of Jesus should lead the way.

In Breakpoint, a weekly update from the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, John Stonestreet says, “[We need] to see those around us as fellow creations of God in need of reconciliation and restoration, not as enemy combatants… We must never stop proclaiming the truth and getting better ourselves at making the case for that which is true, good and beautiful. And we ourselves have to demonstrate civility, the willingness to talk instead of fight, even if our ideological opponents disagree.” A good reminder for us every day.

The Bible also gives us some pretty sound advice: “Let us hold fast our confession” (Hebrews 4:14). “Speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). “Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9).

Jesus laid the groundwork for all who follow when he said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28).

And sometimes, the best course of action is this: “Therefore let your words be few” (Ecclesiastes 5:2), which includes, by the way, Facebook, Twitter, NextDoor, emails, texts, and most definitely when you encounter unkind behavior in person.

And now I’m going to lead by example… and stop typing. Silence is golden. Shhh.

Posted by Rick Grover, Lead Pastor with

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