That's because, for only the second time in the past 10 years, the opening weekend of spring break falls on Easter Sunday.
In other words, the Sunday when people are most likely to be sitting on a Florida beach will coincide with the Sunday when people are most likely to be sitting in church.
LifeWay Research, a Christian research center, conducted a national poll of 1,000 Protestant pastors and found that Easter is by far the highest attendance day for churches, followed by Christmas and Mother's Day. Not a huge surprise. By the way, Father's Day finished dead last, behind July the Fourth. This may or may not have something to do with the fact that Major League Baseball attendance skyrockets on Father's Day.
Anyway, since 2004, Easter has missed spring break four times. It's also fallen at the end of spring break four times, which still allows families to check out of the condo on Saturday morning, take a leisurely drive home, then unpack and get a good night's sleep before attending church on Easter morning.
But an Easter at the start of spring break forces people to make decisions, and I suspect that most folks will choose to load up the mini-van on Saturday morning and make haste down to Highway 30A.
Who can blame them? People work hard and earn their vacations. And is there anywhere on Earth you can feel closer to God than at the edge of the ocean early in the morning?
The answer, at least for me, is no. Maybe it's the mountains for you. That doesn't mean I'll be standing at the edge of the ocean this Easter, the surf lapping at my toes, the fishing boats bobbing on the horizon, the presence of God all around.
No sir. I'll be sitting in church, then heading to the beach afterward. That's because I'm married to someone who has a greater appreciation than I do for tradition, community involvement and special music. I was going to add "legalism" to that list, but I'd better not. My four children were going to agree with me, but they'd better not.
Despite the fervor of our family, Easter attendance will likely dip a bit this year in Columbus, which will probably bother some pastors. In fact, a pastor in Rock Hill, S.C., sent a letter to his local school board requesting that the district stop routinely scheduling spring break during Easter.
I am not suggesting we lobby the Muscogee County School Board to avoid ever scheduling spring break during Easter.
God knows they're facing enough problems, though they seem to have forgotten that they need to hire a superintendent. In the case of spring scheduling, less government is fine. Sometimes the calendar just shakes out a certain way and you've got choices to make.
So have a happy Easter and a great spring break, whatever you decide to do.
Dimon Kendrick-Holmes, executive editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.