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Camp

During my camping trip this weekend, I wrote in my old journal. Leatherbound with two wooden spines, three screws to hold the tan pages in, and a leather thong to tie it closed, it is the antithesis of LiveJournal. Hadn't written in it for three years, so it was interesting to see how much had changed and how much had stayed the same, which themes are constant and what has shifted radically. Felt strange to record my thoughts in longhand and know that they would not be transmitted electron by electron for worldwide access. Just the ink and the paper and me.

Knew going in that the time away could be good for spending time with others or spending time in solitude, but likely not both. Ended up being largely the former, and I got to better know and further invest in the twenty other adults on the trip as well as the dozen or so children. Numbers alone make solitude a long shot, yet there were a few moments when I could write by candlelight or curl up in the crook of a large hollow tree stump with a book.

Annette, Heather, Nate and I were able to study Psalm 44 together in preparation for our Community Groups. God's Word is truly amazing, as is His Spirit when He opens our eyes to it. Perhaps another time I will write more about what we discovered there. The lesson carried through to last night's CG– words do no justice to what happens when God speaks and prepares His people to listen.

For my part, I meditated on and refreshed my memorization of 2 Corinthians 5:17:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
It was and is a good place for my soul to spend time, a rich cache of treasure to discover and store up in my heart.

Often when I travel, I feel a lifting of burdens when the journey is underway. That was my experience this time as well, with a difference: the Spirit revealed another burden underneath, for Chris and Sara. I'd had no communication with them for months and felt convicted of being a poor friend as their marriage and Chris' faith struggle. Returned home to a tear-filled voicemail from Sara, saying she felt led to call me and asking me to pray for them, as Chris has promised an answer tomorrow night on whether he wants to fight for their marriage. We spoke on the phone tonight. I shared what comfort I could and allowed the silences to remain silent. Hope requires a space to fill. I hope that I will be given the grace to pray for them well.

There's more, but I've grown long-winded and run short of words. The trees and scent of pine. Fresh mountain air. A lake for play in the daytime and smooth as glass at night. Campfires for s'mores and stories. A night sky clear enough to see an arm of the galaxy, Mars, the moon, and the occasional shooting star. I confess a wish or two.

Comments

reminds me of that Caedmon's song -

"...you know I had to laugh
that the same old struggles
that plagued me then are plaguing me still."

Glad to know your time away was refreshing. Even Jesus needed a getaway now and again.
I recently rediscovered my old written journal and just posted about it right before i read your journal. The connection between pen and paper seems as if to draw out something in me that keys and clicking do not.~~v
B, I am very happy for how your trip turned out. Being outside for a time restores the soul. Thanks for sharing.