I LOVE hammocks! There is nothing like precious hammock time. What really surprises me is the lack of hammock enjoyment I have witnessed at various vacation locations. When ever we travel to any tropical resort or hotel, my second order of business (after putting our bags in the room) is to verify if any hammocks are on site and their location. Sometimes I get up early and try to be the first one to put “dibs” on what I perceive is the BEST place of all…a hammock. I have noticed on several occasions that many of the hammocks sat empty, hanging and flapping in the breeze. At one hotel I could not believe my luck! The property had a small grassy court, between its pool and the beach, lined with nine pristine, crisp cotton hammocks! I thought for certain I would need to race out each day to reserve my hammock spot…but I was wrong. Most days the hammocks sat neglected like hollow shells. To my delight I had access to any hammock any time! I soon discovered why. The hammocks were no where near any shade. The intense Florida sun made resting in them like laying under an oven broiler. No matter…I love hammocks under any condition…I laid in my hammock each day with a towel pulled over my head and most of my body. I was not going to let a little sun keep me from enjoying one of life’s great pleasures. If there is a hammock on the property where we’re staying , it is my goal to have hammock time at least once each day. I can’t imagine why anyone else would not do the same!
Last year while in Mexico we stayed at a nice location that seemed to be lacking hammocks. One day while exploring the rather expansive grounds I discovered a pool side location which had two hammocks. The cotton rope hammocks hung from carved wooden poles and had just the right amount of shade cast over them. As I surveyed the situation I wondered why no one was in them. Did some one else have “dibs” on them? Were the prior hammock users only up for a drink and expected to return? Were they reserved for “special” guest? I hesitated and tried to assess the situation before making a move. To think there were such sweet resting spots not being enjoyed, to me, was unfathomable! The area was packed with people choosing to lounge on plastic chairs and wet towels. I tentatively approached the hammocks, making sure as to not encroach on someone elses hammock rights. Eventually I settled into one and considered never getting up. It was such a delight! The music from the resort was playing just above the "whoosh" sound of waves crunching onto the shore. From then on, each day I would wonder to the far side of the resort and enjoy my hammock time. For the first few days I never had to wait for a turn…they continued to stay empty. On around the third day or so I found one of them being used. Eventually the open time for the hammocks lessened. I adjusted my hammock time to a less crowded morning hour.
So here is what I have been thinking…why were so many people not enjoying the hammocks? Why isn’t everyone as excited about these perfect places of rest! Hammocks symbolize vacations, peacefulness, lazy days, and freedom from stress! I have a few theories: 1. I think a lot of people fail to take advantage of hammock time opportunities because they have never experienced it before….maybe no one has shared with them the joys of hammock time. 2. Maybe they’ve had a bad hammock experience(I find that hard to imagine. I have fallen when one broke, tumbled out on my tushy and have been spun upside down by people who think it’s funny…yet all hammock time is good to me.) 3. Maybe they’re concerned about how to get in or out of the hammock. Admittedly entering a hammock of any sort in public does present opportunity for an America’s Funniest Video clip. (I am sure I have provided plenty of entertainment to those nearby by my more graceless entrance and exit techniques.) Could fear of failing, or being made fun of, keep folks from such a nice time? Looking back at last years hammock encounter I think there is evidence to support my theories. You see, until those around the hammock stand saw someone enjoying it, they may not have considered it for themselves…but trust me, I looked VERY happy in the hammock. Also, after viewing my technique for getting into and out of a rope hammock for a few days, no doubt some decided it was not too difficult…after all, if I could do it without face-planting anyone could. I like to think I enabled my fellow vacationers to discover a love of hammock time.
I think it is unbelievable that others do not love hammocks as I do, yet when I think of others who do not love God or know the love of God, I do not feel as shocked. I should be! God is greater than anything this world gives us, including hammock time. He gives us perfect rest, comfort, refreshment. My God and my relationship with Him through Christ is the most important thing in my life. Why would anyone NOT want to know God through His Son Jesus? Who would pass up a chance to find rest and love unconditional, full of mercy and grace! 1. Those who have never experienced His love. Maybe no one ever shared with them how great He is or fullness of His grace? 2. Maybe they’ve had a bad experience. Are they hurting inside from wounds from the past? 3. Maybe they do not know how to enter into a saving relationship with God. I have no problem setting a good example for proper hammock entry/exits, yet do I set an example, provide encouragement or guidance for those around me who may want to know my God? The Bible tells us that anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord, WILL be saved. Jesus died for our sins so we can ask forgiveness and have a saving relationship with God. This”GoodNews" is so much better than hammock time and tons easier to get into! Here is our challenge…Lets’ not pass up any opportunityto share how great our God is to those around us. Can others see the joy it gives us? Do we help others see Him beyond their hurt? Do we set a living example of how to know Him? Every hammock I encounter in life will always remind me of this challenge. I hope you find many opportunities for hammock time!