If you could escape anywhere for a week where would you go? What would you do? Who would be with you? Or would you be alone?
These last few weeks I’ve been finding myself daydreaming about a marvelous little cabin on the North Shore of Lake Superior. I had the joy of spending six days there this past Apri, and I’m anxious to go back. It was me, my computer, a few books (okay maybe it was more like 20 books), a fireplace, and a view of my most favorite lake.
After I parked my car and unloaded, I didn’t climb back behind the wheel until it was time to leave. The only time I went out of the cabin was to get more firewood. I brought all of my food with me and a small crockpot to warm it up. I had no reason to leave—but I could have if I wanted to. I didn’t.
I was alone. And I was writing. I was able to focus without distraction (I turned off my phone). I had no errands to run, laundry to do, or boys to taxi. I didn’t have to talk to anyone unless I wanted to. I spent the week in prayer, in tears, and in writing. I didn’t watch the TV or listen to much music. It was quiet, minus the sound of the waves crashing onto the shore.
It was a time of healing for my overwhelmed heart. It was a time of refreshment and restoration for my ragged soul.
I had never done anything like that before, and I’m craving it again now.
Though I did get to relax, I worked hard while I was there. Though the extended alone time was blissful for this introvert, I still had connections to the outside world. But that’s not it.
I’m craving it now because I had time to become wholly undone with my Savior. I had no schedule to keep which offered me concentrated time in His Word. I fell on my face before Him seeking direction, trying to discern where He was leading me. And He met me there. He took me was into His arms—and let me rest. He took my worry. My confusion. My fear. And He gave me His strong arm. His promise to provide me with His words, as long as I continue to seek Him. And He gave me His peace as I venture further into this whole writing thing He has called me to do.
Beloved, as I look through Scripture, I find many people who took time to learn more about their calling or to prepare for the next phase of their purpose. People like Paul and John the Baptist, who took time alone to learn about this great God we serve, how to best love others, and how to be more effective for the Kingdom. And some, like Jesus, took time alone to rest and be refreshed before getting back to it.
So I ask again: If you could escape anywhere for a week where would you go? What would you do? Who would be with you? Or would you be alone?
We all need a time of refreshment, of Sabbath. Our lives are a constant stream of demands, fulfilling requirements, meeting needs, and ministering to others. And after a while, we tend to run on fumes; on the brink of breaking down. You see it in the eyes of people your co-workers. You see it in the faces of those you encounter at church. You see it on the slumped shoulders of those you cross paths with around town. You may even see it in the mirror.
Make the time and take the time to escape with your Savior. Make the necessary arrangements: put in for time off, arrange childcare, schedule others to drive kids to/from activities and sports, get someone to feed the dog etc. If you need to save some cash to go, start saving now. Make it a priority. Book it, schedule it—it will give you something to look forward to. If a week is too long, make it a long weekend. But go. You won’t regret it.
I came back from my week away refreshed but determined to keep going. I made significant progress in my writing and my faith. When I came home I was ready to tackle the next step in my journey—even it is was the mountain of laundry that erupted while I was gone.