Sunday, July 22, 2012

Recapturing The Glory

I'm not too smart.  This comes as no surprise to those who know me.  I speak too quickly and act too slowly.  Well, most of the time.  At least that's my own observations of myself.  I don't say this to prompt any one to disagree with me.  We all have images of ourselves that may or may not be accurate.  The fact that we feel that they are accurate is what makes them so important.

Those whom I serve at my fantastic church bless me with five ... count 'em 5 ... weeks of vacation each year.  That is ample time to rest, refresh, and reinvent.  My problem isn't having enough time.  My problem is managing what I am given.  The year is more than half over and I have neglected to take one vacation day.  A smarter me would have taken at least two weeks by now.  I say "smarter" because I began a two week vacation three hours ago and honestly, I'm limping into it.  Again, no whine intended.  I am a big guy and I make my own decisions.  I did not have to wait until mid-July to take a break.  I just ... did.  There is no real reason why.

Here's the thing.  When the calling that God has placed upon you is a deep calling ... a calling that empties the soul more than it stresses the flesh .. a calling that requires that you taste the salt in the tears of those who cry ... well, it tends to wear you down in ways you don't even notice.

I had forgotten the truth of that statement until this evening just after sunset.  Debbie had left to go to our daughters overnight so that she could be there to babysit our three grandchildren first thing in the morning.  After seeing her off on her mini-journey I made my way toward a local drug store to pick up some things I've fallen short of in my gym bag.  After I made my purchase I prepared to turn back onto the highway home and it was impossible to not take notice of the way God was putting His sun to bed. I snapped a picture of the brilliant reflections bouncing from drifting clouds.  I pulled to the side of the parking lot and just looked at what He had made.  And I wasn't impressed.  My pulse didn't beat any faster.  I didn't catch my breath.  And it took me a full minute of looking at the sky to remember how I use to feel when catching a view like this one.

And I missed the feeling.  The peace.  The joy.  The thankfulness.  I missed them.

So I am taking fourteen days and I am dedicating each of them to recapturing a bit of the glory.  The glory of God blazing its way into my heart.  I want to find Him in the unexpected places again.  I want to hear His breath when I wake in the mid-night hours.  I want to sing in worship again for a couple of weeks instead of rehearsing in my head what I am going to say from a pulpit after the song is over.  I want to look at the feet sticking out the end of my pants and find wonder in the design of God in the making of toes.  The simple things.  My grandkids grasp on my finger.  The sound of my wife's voice.  The smile of my kids who have turned into full fledged adults.  I want to be still for hours in a row and listen to my heart beat to the rhythm God tuned it to.  I want to talk to Him and know ... KNOW ... that He is listening.  Not because He said He would but because I can sense Him in my spirit.

It's a noble task.  And it is an impossible task.  It will take the Hand of God to make it happen.  And I suppose that more than anything else I want to feel the thrill of knowing that He entered into my life afresh, met me, and raised me from my fatigue.

There is no better vacation than that.