Every year we have a stop along the way to our camping retreat. Every year we experience the grace, hospitality, and unconditional acceptance of friends who have been part of our lives for almost two decades. In years of winning and losing in the annual men versus women game of Pictionary, of gorging on pesto, bruschetta, and a unlimited supply of a fresh garden salad, the part that really stands out is how my soul feels the following day.
The idea of getting away, recovering and then getting on with life isn’t new. Jesus did it often. I find myself reading the John’s words, “He said this and stayed on in Galilee,” (John 7.9) and then reminding myself just how important nurturing the soul is for all. Do I have enough rest points in my life? Am I spending the same type of time nurturing my soul as I do with my physical body? Do I consciously focus on what I am doing during this process?
During the past twelve hours I have rested in the heart of true compassionate friendship. Even as the men, self included, were slaughtered by the women in a game of Pictionary, I could sense the healing occurring in my heart and soul. The opportunity to stop in the rush to camping may seem like a luxury but the impact of last night actually tells me clearly that it is anything but! Where else could I go where I find myself unconditionally accepted with no presumptions? Is there another stop that comes with unlimited quantities of love and friendship? Do I know somewhere else that provides the energy and nourishment to face the challenges of another day?
Actually I do! God offers you and me the chance, opportunity, and gift of living 24×7 in this space. You, me, anyone can turn and be at once one with Divinity. It is a gift that sits waiting, patiently for our response. Life may have hit us hard, far worse than the margin of our lost last night, but God is ours forever.
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