Well friends, I'm starting my summer by taking a couple of weeks away. I need this so much. I actually think most of the world needs this and God keeps whispering that in my brain. I have never been more aware of how the buzz of modern life drowns out his lovely voice. I'm entirely preaching to myself because never have I been more swept away in internet, travel, work, and worry. This has been a year of undoing. I had all these expectations and plans, ran hard after just about a thousand schemes, and was determined to grasp my life by the neck and make it behave just as I planned. Well, most of my excellent schemes have fallen through, while some are still (still!) in the waiting phase. Travel has sucked every drop of my brain like never before, health has been an interesting journey, and all the ideals I've always held seemed questioned at every turn.
At the same time, I have sensed grace in a way I never have before. Even as I flailed this year, panicked at this crisis or that interrupted plan, I have glimpsed the way God moves my life toward the goodness I need, rather than the ease I desire. I'm not sure where he's pushing me at the moment, but I am beginning to see ways in which he has humbled and changed me, loosened my grip on expectations. A few of the plans I prayed desperately for him to bless, I now know would have crushed me. Now, I feel weak as a little baby, all the muscles of my striving so worn out I can't even stand. I think this is probably an excellent place to be.
But it's also just the time when I need most to let God shape and strengthen me anew. I want to be formed by his purposes, and not the crazy plots of the modern world. That's why I've decided on this retreat. This is so very hard to do in the ultra-connectedness of modern life. But I'm going to give it my best try for two weeks. I'm leaving my computer at home, pushing work and worry far away, and quelling my own driven angst. I am going to simply... be. Rest. Read. Contemplate. Consider. Walk. Write in my journal. Eat. Drink tea. Sleep. And look long on the beauty of life.
So, starting Monday, a fond farewell, just for a bit. I've written a couple of posts in advance that will go up while I'm gone (because I truly am trying so very hard to write regularly), and I look forward to writing when I return. I hope you can find that space of rest in your own life in these first summer days. I hope for the restoration of beauty for you, for times in which God can sweep the cobwebs of frenzied life away and pour his own clean light into your soul. That's what I'm hoping to find.
I'll talk to you in a couple of weeks.