Ann Thomas Rinker: Rebirth and rejuvenation — in life and in Jesus -- Gazette.Net


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My husband and I managed to squeak out a two-and-a-half-day, three-night vacation at the end of March.

It is the first vacation we have taken in almost seven years.

Prior to becoming a “non-vacation-taking” family, we had been used to getting away for three straight weeks of rest and relaxation in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. It was hard to give that up, but it was worth it so my husband could spend his vacation weeks helping our son and daughter-in-law with their business during their busiest season. We have learned to turn an afternoon into a mini-vacation, and are able to enjoy any minute we get alone together.

So, it was with much anticipation and excitement that we set out on our time away last month. We chose to go to our beloved valley and spent two nights in a quiet hotel. We explored the area, read, biked, napped if we felt like it, and dined out.

We even took in a late movie. We were in heaven. Then, on our last night, we ventured over to a family reunion on Roger’s paternal grandmother’s side of the clan. We remained in Shenandoah, where we joined others in Orkney Springs, Va.

The place where we met our family is called Shrine Mont, which includes the old Orkney Springs Hotel. It is beautiful. It is where people used to go to summer, away from the heat of the city. Moms and kids would stay all summer, while fathers would join them on the weekend.

The people who stayed there were able to afford summer homes, and it is in one of these houses that we spent a very comfortable night. The weather was lovely, the food amazingly good, and the accommodations were clean, very nice and like a night at grandma’s. We spent quite a few hours catching up on the latest news from various cousins and, best of all, we were able to continue our goal of being away from our regular routines and just plain resting.

An added bonus was that we had no TV and no cell phone reception at Orkney. And then, all too soon, we said our goodbyes and headed home. The amazing thing was that we were truly relaxed; stress-free. I suppose it really was that we had set our minds to just having fun. We made no real plans; we did what we wanted, when we wanted; and we just enjoyed being together.

Mission accomplished.

As we talked on our way home, we both said it felt like a sort of rebirth. We went there tired, a little overworked, and so ready to get away. We left there, just three days later, feeling rejuvenated and ready for the days ahead.

I was thinking of this trip as I approached Easter Sunday. Each Easter, we are especially reminded of Jesus’ victory over death. We are reminded He died for our sins and was raised from the dead for our salvation. In essence, He was reborn so that we too may be reborn in Him. Rebirth in Jesus is a true gift that makes any vacation or earthly endeavor pale. Imagine how glorious it will be with the Father in heaven, where no earthly stresses or ills remain, where joy and eternal life are ours.

Easter and our little time away made me especially grateful for what the resurrection truly means, and it also made me amazingly joyous when I raised my voice to proclaim, “The Lord is risen, the Lord is risen indeed!”

Ann Thomas Rinker has lived in Mount Airy for more than 20 years and has written for The Gazette for most of that time. She is married to Roger L. Rinker, a pastor of Light of Christ Lutheran Church in New Market. They have three children and three grandchildren. If you would like to respond to her column, email her at atrinker@verizon.net.