When Your Vacation Bubble Pops

A puffy-cloud spotted, sunny-bright, blue sky met me as I opened the door to our rental unit in Boulder, Colorado.

What a perfect morning, I thought, as I pushed my bike through the courtyard to the outdoor elevator to get to the ground level.

My mood matched the skies. We were in Boulder for an extended stay, mixing regular life with plenty of vacationing. On this day, I was heading to an off-the-beaten path coffee shop where I planned to get a few major projects crossed off my list. It wasn't the closest shop, but I knew it would be more subdued, better for the Skype calls and writing on my schedule.

After wrestling my bike in and out of the elevator and through the security door to the street, I strapped on my helmet and climbed aboard. My heart sank with the first turn of the pedal: The chain was hanging off its sprocket. I am not handy, and my husband was gone for the morning.

I'll have to walk instead, I thought, and with a slight sigh, I hauled my bike back to our rental.

If we could simply move away from all that's wrong, we would not need the rescue found in Jesus' life, death, and resurrection.

Time was ticking away, but the twenty-minute walk was lovely, giving me time to sort through the delay that was threatening my cheery mood. Upon entering the coffee shop, I was thrilled—the seating area was almost empty. I stood in line, ordered my drink, and finally got settled toward the back, ready to make up for lost time.

But then I couldn't get Internet access. After doing all I knew to do, I wanted to ask for help, but the line had doubled, and they were swamped.

Maybe the shop's website had the info? I thought, so I turned to my phone. What I found was a customer review stating this shop discourages work-squatting by keeping the Internet off until 11 a.m. My heart dropped.

I could tether from my phone for a few hours, I thought, so I turned that on. But the signal would not hold, perhaps due to the mountains. By this time, my insides were churning. Self-pity cozied up close to my heart feeding my thoughts: I'm on vacation! In Boulder! I had important work to do! Why can't things just work right?

My well-laid plans had been thwarted time and again. It was mid-morning, and I was no closer to getting my work done than when I first opened my door more than an hour before. Now I needed to pack up and make the twenty-minute walk back to find a new shop to work from.

I'd like to say my puffy-cloud spotted, sunny-bright, blue-sky mood was still firmly in place. But it had gone sketchy, just like the Internet connection.

At the root was my incredulity that this was happening while I was on vacation in Boulder. You see, there is so much about this town that I love—the food, the people, the pedestrian lifestyle, the quirkiness, the landscape, the weather. The frustration and irritation didn't fit into my perception of Boulder life.

Through this episode, God was showing me that I had put this place on a pedestal. I had made it into my own heaven-on-earth, where real-life frustrations and irritants and responsibilities didn't exist. And when they showed up so unexpectedly, it burst my Boulder bubble.

It needed bursting though, because the truth is, no place on earth is untouched by the effects of the Fall. We cannot find a city or coffee shop or mood immune to the brokenness, imperfections, and sin that are inherent to this world, this life. If we could simply move away from all that's wrong, we would not need the rescue found in Jesus' life, death, and resurrection.

As good and glorious as this world can be, there is an undercurrent of imperfection running through. Things will not go according to my plan and will often deliver plenty of frustration to my door. I need Jesus everywhere I go, in whatever I am doing, to sustain me when things go awry. Even on vacation, in Boulder.

Have you ever had a vacation bubble pop when real life gets too close to the ideal? What do you do when your plans unravel, and your day is thwarted at every turn?

Did you discover God’s Truth today?

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About the Author

Erin Straza

Erin Straza

Erin is a word enthusiast, language lover, and punctuation activist. Her zeal for all things wordy is only trumped by her passion for the unchanging Living Word. Erin longs to see women dive deep into God’s Word so their hearts will be progressively redeemed, restored, and rested by the Lord Jesus Christ. Living in central Illinois with her husband, Mike, Erin helps organizations tell their stories in authentic and compelling ways through writing, editing, and marketing communications consulting.

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