Sunday, May 8, 2016

Return


It has been almost a month since I posted.  During that time, I spent a week getting ready for a trip to a retreat center in NC...spending a week at said retreat center...and upon return trying to catch up from being gone.  Despite not being able to post to my blog...which I find to be a very meaningful spiritual practice...otherwise the experience was totally worth it.  If you are like me, it takes some time to disconnect and decompress.  I don't instantly or immediately feel at peace.  But the week I spent nestled in the foothills of NC, I was surrounded by the beauty of creation.

There were the rustic roads to wander down and get lost in thought/prayer/communion with God.  There were hills that for my flat-land of Florida legs challenged me a good way.  There was conversations and information that challenged me in another way.  There were moments spent talking, shedding tears, reflecting in quiet, and re-connecting.  All of this was done with limited cell phone reception.  I had to get past the panic of not being always available.  We are so hyper-connected in our world that going off the grid is not easy.

I remember when we first introduced our kids to texting...they too had to realize that just because a text message came through did not mean you had to rush to grab your phone.  In fact, our world might be a kinder, gentler, loving place if we did not always respond instantly to emails or text back our first thought.  That also goes for face-to-face conversation.  In the heat of the moment is when I say the boneheaded things I immediately want to snatch from thin air and shove back from whence the words came.

I am realizing that you don't actually have to go off the grid or escape from cell phone towers and civilization.  There can be fasts from blogging, Facebook posting, and even talking on my phone while still very much in the range of all those services.  It takes discipline.  It takes putting my phone in the back of my car so I am not tempted to look at it.  It takes powering down the laptop so it is not always accessible.  It takes letting this amazing invention called, "voice mail" receive the call and I will return it once I have a few moments to breathe and let God's spirit catch up to me.

I am reminded of the quote from Martin Luther, the 16th century reformer, who would quip, "I am so busy today...I must make more time for prayer."  Usually, prayer is the first thing tossed out the window the second people want to meet.  I am reminded that slowly chewing your food is a great prayer practice in a world of drive thru and fast food that we barely taste...except for all the sugar and salt.  I am reminded that even a red light is an invitation to pray, pause, and remind ourselves that this world already has a Savior...and to the best of my knowledge God is not looking for another right now.

I pray this week you will find moments to go off the grid...and when you do you might sense MORE than just a trace of God's grace.

Blessings and good health~

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