<%image(20060720-LakeGeorge 2006 North.jpg|350|262|lakegeorgenorth)%>This picture was taken from Black Mountain, showing the Northern end of Lake George.
I just arrived home from our vacation up at Lake George, NY. I use the first person singular because Julie and her family are still up there, while I had to return to work. I’m having a pity party right now with the rabbits, but they’re lousy company unless you have a bag of carrots next to you. They’re off doing their own thing since the bag is empty, so now I’m left to the blog.
We actually had our best weather yet at the Lake. Clear skies almost every day of the week and temperatures in the 80’s. Sun and high temperatures are what you need when you have a big, cold lake nearby.
Vacation is a curious time. As someone who thrives on routine, I do best on vacation with some semblance of a routine. So before leaving I actually though this through.
I decided that the Divine Hours prayer book needs to sit on the shelf for a little while. I began my day with a mug of coffee, 2-3 mini-donuts, and 2 chapters from the Gospel of Mark. I let my scripture reading guide the prayer time that followed. Then I had breakfast with the family, tucked my latest book, To Rule the Waves, under my arm, and set off for the dock that rests in the lake a very short walk away from our cabin. The day would then become a combination of reading, swimming, loafing, and eating until evening arrived and the board games would begin.
What I found after a few days of this routine is the following:
1. I need a more regular time of scripture reading that is longer. It does not have to be every day, but it does need to be fairly long, with a minimum reading of 2 long chapters. My attention span requires a little time to warm up before I can concentrate on what I’m reading.
2. A long time of scripture reading is a wonderful way to sharpen the mind before prayer.
3. Prayer and scripture reading are best done at the beginning of the day when there is not a lot of activity around the house.
4. It is immensely relaxing to have one long, good book to just plow through. It’s a comfort of sorts at times. Having stuck to the light discipline of my schedule, I was free to enjoy my history book without guilt.
5. Physical activity is essential. Swimming seems like the perfect fit for me since it doesn’t feel like a lot of work, but simply staying afloat requires constant motion. Strenuous activity helped me to settle down and enjoy my book even more.