Wednesday, January 14, 2009

staff retreat thoughts

every year all of the staff at the CGO (center for global outreach) meet together at lake aurora church camp for a time of retreat.  each time we have a day of solitude.  it varies in length each year.  this year we had 3 or 4 hours.  i always dread and desire this time.  4 hours of silence alone with God!?  what do i do?  it's going to be awesome!  it's going to be horrible! 

i'll be honest here.  i have been going through some definite valleys lately.  i've struggled to see God at work in my life in the midst of one mishap after another, one challenge after another.  

so i found myself at the end of "my" pier at lake aurora.  i always try to claim this peaceful spot during this time of silence and solitude.  my feet were dangling off the end and i found myself staring at the water directly beneath me.  small lakes tend to have sludge-like floors.  i looked at the small pieces of trash and debris sunk at the bottom and the weeds growing up through the water.  i couldn't seem to take my eyes off the bottom.  i saw a few ripples of light across the top and thought to myself that they were some sort of pretty.

i noticed that my friend ryan had also come down the pier.  i looked up at him and noticed him staring intently out at the lake.  it shook me that i had never even thought to look up.  

so i looked and in one motion i was both blinded by the brilliant light of the sunrise and breathless at the absolute beauty of the lake.  tall reeds blowing in the wind, the water rippling, and the gorgeous light of the sun reflected and shimmering all across the water.  my eyes could not bear to look, they burned and ached in the sun's intensity.  and it was beautiful.

oh and i got it.  the beautiful lesson that God was laying out for me.  He knows that i am a visual learner.  my own life has been so deeply stuck in the mire, in the muck, that i've forgotten that the Light, God's light, is even there!  it is so intimately close, but i had to lift my eyes.  

when i lift my eyes there is such a beauty, such a glorious, brilliant Light, that it takes my breath away.  God is that beauty, God is that light.  and it is too much for me to look at.  the Light is too strong for my weak and weary eyes.  i must beseech Him for the strength, for the healing, for the ability to look on His light and beauty, to view the beautiful full picture of all the things around me.  for i've been told that He gives both light and the ability to gaze into it.  

who would desire to continue looking at the bile after they've seen the breathtaking?  too often i do.  i pray that God will lift the veil over my eyes and draw me into His brilliant Light and i will reflect it as beautifully as the ripples on the water.


EmileeHopeBinkleyTurner said...

What a beautiful post! I feel the same way, sometimes we are so bogged down by all the little yucky things that life throws at us, we forget to look up into the beautiful light that is God and remember that He will always be there to help us find our way, and find our way beautifully!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful inspiring thoughts--wish we could share a hug! Love ya'
Going to cincy this weekend-Ethan has bronchitis-pray he's better by
Thurs.--we have LOTS of snow-4"

Lena said...

Thank you for that reminder...God is so awesome!