Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pastor's Perspective - Solitude Solution

For many years since entering the full-time ministry, I have wanted to go somewhere and have several days of solitude and uninterrupted time with the Lord. Last week that fantasy came true.

Thanks to the graciousness and generosity of many, I spent four days in a great cabin in the foothills of the Sierras. I loaded up my Beetle with some groceries, books I have been wanting to read but could never get around to, my new laptop, a few changes of clothes and my Bible, and made the scenic hour and a half drive. The cabin was beautiful, isolated and absolutely perfect for what I envisioned and needed. To add to the backdrop, the weather was fireplace chilly. There was no cell phone coverage and no television. Again, perfect.

Each morning after washing up, I’d read extended passages of Scripture at the dining room table, followed by the most captivating and moving experiences of communion in recent memory. After communion I would fix breakfast, take walks, pray, read, take drives into town, and just be still and silent before Him. I read several books in one sitting (something impossible in my weekly routine), all of the psalms, and outlined and wrote the ‘Introduction’ for the book I’m writing. The only thing I didn’t check off my list was to return back to Chelle and the kids with a big wild mountain man beard (which for anybody who knows me would have taken a merciful act of the Most High!)

Besides enjoying rest, I know that the Spirit was dealing with me, but honestly I’m not actually sure just what He did. Daily and unexpectedly, I would experience “waves” of joy and exhilaration that would result in unbridled praise and gratitude. However, just when I thought my excursion was a camp meeting, a rogue whitecap swept me away to tears of intercession and repentance. There were no burning bush or talking donkey experiences, but I knew that the wind was blowing wherever He wanted to blow, and that He was proving His mystery. I’m certain that He was filling in shallow places, while simultaneously tearing needless things in my character down. Maybe someday He’ll give me the details.

Good Lord willing, my hope is that this will be the first of many such pilgrimages. However, I must make a true confession, lest ye think mistakenly that I’m some Gibraltar of spirituality. While pecking away on my book one evening, alone in the cold dark woods, I thought of Kathy Bates walking up to me with a block of wood and a bad attitude! That night I locked my bedroom door.

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