Vacation or Retreat: Day One

I recently found myself looking like my own deep freezer. The fruit on our apple tree reached a point of maturity so we harvested a bumper crop of apples. I froze about seven gallon-size bags of apple slices. I don’t get into the deep freezer very often, but I quickly discovered there are sheets of ice coating the walls and shelves. The ice is slowly taking over the space purposed for storing and protecting food.  

The same has been slowly happening in my life. Those open storage spaces are no longer clean, symmetrical, or easy to use. My life is clogged with the icicles of my own making. The feelings of, “I should be…, I need to do more of…, Why am I not more…,” and so many others. There’s plenty to occupy my here and now without adding the should haves, could haves, and maybe’s. Satan likes to slip those “spiritual” things in there too and beat me up with them. “I should be praying more, reading my Bible more, give more, do more,” until there’s nothing left. I was losing my purpose in the worries, frustrations, and confusions of life. All of us are in danger of this happening and I am certainly guilty of allowing it to happen.

As the time for our vacation came, I was spent. There was no room to move left or right. I found myself cold and hard. I didn’t need a vacation; I needed a retreat. We planned very little about this trip. We didn’t know even where we were going until two or three days before we left. On Tuesday, we did sit down and plan two or three things that we wanted to do while we were there. Ron wanted to eat some crab, I wanted a dolphin tour and to spend as much time at the beach as I could. God uses these times to work miracles in my life.

I decided to break this post into smaller bites. Welcome to Day One of our vacation and spiritual retreat.

  Monday – We loaded our rental vehicle and by 0800 we were on our way. The trip took around eight and a half hours. Ron drove and I worked on my laptop writing when I should have been editing. We checked into our hotel and went to dinner. I was looking for a burger on the trip down and didn’t get one, so we tried again. We went to a restaurant on the beach because we were in Florida. You’re supposed to go to the beach. I chose fish and chips, instead of a burger. It was delicious. For many months we have worked hard. I haven’t laughed or played in… I don’t know how long. We came here to reboot our minds. Sitting at the edge of the ocean, feeling the warm breeze, eating a relaxing dinner, the thick overgrowth of ice in my brain cementing my routine in place began to melt. The concerns of everyday life were several hundred miles away. The habits and routines are gone. The ice in a freezer doesn’t build up overnight and it will take more than one day to defrost my mind. Sometimes it isn’t easy to explain my needs, but God knows what we need and he has the answers even before we ask.


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