Friday, March 7, 2008


I have been thinking about trips today, not only because I am tired of the cold and waiting for all the snow to melt, but also because we are nearing the end of Lent and this seasonal journey will soon be over. I love to travel, see new things, and spend time admiring the gift of nature. Some of my favorite trips have been to the mountains in Montana, where I grew up. I remember one trip I took during a summer break from seminary. It was August and I did an overnight hiking trip by myself into the Beartooth Mountains. On the way up the mountain, I turned a corner and saw a wonderful waterfall that made me stop and take a break. The sheer beauty and power of all that water tumbling over the cliff was awe-inspiring. As I think back on the trip I am reminded that we are all on a journey in life. Sometimes on the journey we are struck with awe-inspiring wonder, other times we feel like we are being drowned underneath the weight of all that water.

As we near Easter, we travel a road that many have walked before us. We witness betrayal and loss, heart-ache and pain - all emotions we experience in our own lives. But in the end, there is hope and promise - hope and promise for the future, hope and promise that God will help pull us out of the pits and valleys we are traveling through, hope and promise that no matter how bad things seem to be, we are loved, cared for, and needed by God and by others.

Yes, the beauty of God is that he knows us and loves us. We are his children, and no matter where we go in life, whatever trips we may take, God is right there, walking with us, supporting us, and blessing us with arms of grace and love.

1 comment:

Betty Dygart said...

I don't have a trip that comes to mind, not a vacation trip, that is. But hiking up to a mountain, all by oneself is the kind of journey I could get into.

Sometimes a person just likes to be alone...confronting what is in their heart and mind, without the interference from outside forces, not other human ones, anyway.

Pastor Herbert Brokering, author of "Cat Psalms," and resident expert on the thoughts and actions of various cats, (having had 12 over the space of his life), shares a touching insight into our need for solitude in his psalm entitled "Leave me Alone."

I need alone time.
I need to be all by myself, where I choose, and when.
I do not plan solitude in advance; but when it comes, it will be as long as I choose.
I will decide.
Right now you must leave me alone.
You want to hold me, pet me, get me to play with string or a ball of paper.
Not now.
I am not walking away because I don't love you.
This is my little downtime.
Perhaps I will nap, curl up in one place until being alone is done.
Being alone is necessary; it is when I sort through cat things.
The world will stop when I stop.
Nothing will happen without my making it happen.
You will have to wait for me.
This is my time-out.

O God, my soul needs solitude, being by itself with you, stillness to muse, coast, ponder in the heart. I schedule time alone--early morning alone, late night alone. I withdraw to a secret place from time to time. I must build solitude in my life. You know my spirit and its needs: I may be moody, sad, tired, frustrated or elated. I need to be with myself and apart from others. Solitude is a time for getting strength, letting the world go by, resting, not being in control, taking what is given.

O God, your quiet is always here, your presence always near. Solitude is my exercise for peace, trust cleansing, being myself.

O God, there is so much in your quiet for the whole world to hear.