Leisure takes men into pastimes whether future or past, or inner or outer ecstasies. Leisure is free time spent merely doing something else, something out of the central current of one’s vocation. And any hobby or leisure activity which becomes a job is thereby no longer leisure. Similarly, ERH gives the examples of site-seeing/travel and interest in music. It’s all good fun and serves to divert people from the central demands of life. But there is a kind of restlessness and aimless bound up in such an existence. ERH insists that peace and contentment is found in the center of this cross of human existence. If the inner, outer, future, and past form the four sides of the cross of human existence, only fixed to the center of the cross can human existence be fulfilling and fruitful. ERH names this “centered” existence one which celebrates holidays as contrasted with the individualism and escapism of mere leisure. It combines these modes of leisure into community life, fellowship, and celebration.
That’s what holidays do. The are the “mortar of society,” creating fellowship, togetherness, opportunities to plan, discuss, and organize. They are the concerted efforts of a whole community to celebrate despite what any circumstances may otherwise suggest, and ERH goes on to suggest that out of these holidays come creativity, ingenuity, productivity, and many other traits of a thriving society.
The Christian Future, 198-202.