The text used in worship last Sunday from I KIngs 19 spoke about Elijah going out to THE Cave on Mt. Sinai. It was at THE Cave where God spoke with Elijah and rejuvenated his life. All week long people have been telling me about finding their "caves" where they can safely be with God.
That prompts this thought: spiritual caves must be portable. That sounds like a contradiction. Most "places" are just that, fixed places we move to and away from. We know about those "sacred places" of deep meaning: Mt Hermon, Mission Springs, Covenant Pines, "the Lake", the church of our childhood, a campus chapel, an historic monument.
But that does not cut it for the long run. Because we move and places change and morph. New leaders come to camps and churches, old buildings are torn down or remodeled not like we used to know them.
This is especially true for college students heading off for their first prolonged away time, and for those returning to school after a summer at home. The church they attend and the small groups that nourish them do not travel well. Face-book and My-space go only so far in nourishing the soul. The end result is that too many students (and many more adults than want to admit it) do not have a sacred place ("the cave") where they are now.
It's time to teach the spiritual art of portable cave-building; assembling those habits, patterns, skills and disciplines that are not place-reliant, but fully portable. The backpacker knows this truth well. The pack they carry is meant to be portable and able to set up to shelter and feed them in any place. Christians need to learn how to backpack their faith, to carry their caves.