The offer was made about three years ago. I officiated at a wedding and the family thanked me by offering me the use of their condominium in Mammoth Lakes CA anytime I wanted. Years passed and I did not use the gift. The mother asked me if we were ever going to visit their condo? When I looked at the map, Mammoth Lakes was a good 6 hours away! When could I find that sort of time? What would I do? Martha is not a skier and I'm not a fisherman. So, we procrastinated until this summer.
This summer Martha and I took a two day escape to Lake Tahoe to visit a former student of Martha's. That brief getaway fueled my heart like little else (other than our travels to France). We saw new and spectacular beauty. We connected with old friends (the Halvorsens) and came back fresh. We knew we had to do this again, especially living on campus. So with the Columbus Day holiday giving Martha a Monday off, we asked to use the condo and I asked Jon Lemmond to preach for me and we took off Thursday morning until today (Tuesday). What happened? Refreshment!!
Each morning I woke before light and sat out in the living room (where I am now) with candles lit and coffee on. I have been reading long stretches of the Bible (Jeremiah, Lamentations, and now Ezekiel), aKempis, and Edwin Friedman's "A Failure of Nerve". And I have had long stretches to think, contemplate and pray.
Then, after breakfast, we set out each day to explore and hike. Hiking is something we do well together. Long stretches of silent stepping along trails that open up into spectacular vistas. The colors have been high-contrast stark: deep blues, brilliant whites, bold greens.
It was as if God was saying to me, "See, you need to come away with me so I can remind you that this is MY world. I own the beauty and the glory. Lighten up. Enjoy. Rest in me."