Deer.

I try to get away at least once a month.
This is something that I’ve tried (not always successfully) to do since joining the RHYTHM crew back in the fall of 2008.

I guess that was the first time that I really saw the need for it.
I knew there was something missing in my life and ministry, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
As it turned out, it was time away.

Alone.
Quiet.
Free.

A time for me to recharge.

I’d found a place at Buck’s Pocket that I loved.
A quiet little hole down a hiking trail with a waterfall.
I could just sit there and talk to God.
And listen to His creation around me.

As much as I’d love to go back to that place, it’s such a drive to get there from here.
So I had to search for another place to find that peacefulness.

I ended up spending a little while Friday night and much of the day Saturday on a trail near my apartment.
This is what I came up with.

I’m alone on the trail.
Just me, God, a Bible, notebook, and pen.
This is not like my old place.
I can still hear traffic in the distance.
I’m actually between two growing areas.

But the trail doesn’t tell that story.
It is actually a bit rocky, as if it would be home to a stream if there were a constant water source.
There isn’t.
So it merely dribbles down with the leftovers of last night’s rain.

I’m having to be more careful than I’d like.
These New Balances were not constructed for such rugged terrain.
Maybe I need new shoes.

I hear dogs bark and think about David and the psalm I had read last night.
I read Psalm 42 for no other reason than I had seen a deer in the woods.

Granted, I have no idea the context it was written in.
Was David hiding at this time?
Was he on the run being sought after by Saul’s men?
I think the worst thoughts…what if a day comes when God’s people once again must hide?

Beats me, and the Bible I carry doesn’t have study notes any more extensive than my own scribblings.

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.  When can I go and meet with God?  …  Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.  – Psalm 42:1-2, 7

Meditating on these verses, the sounds I hear begin to change as I get deeper into the woods.
The sound of traffic subsides and makes way for what sounds like rushing water.

And there it is.
A waterfall.
Not a particularly impressive one.
In fact, I’m almost sure it would be nonexistant except for the rain.

As I continue on the trail, I come to a stream that I must cross.
I come very close to taking a dive here.
It’s not always easy to navigate new terrain, is it?
Maybe I need new shoes.

And now it is starting to rain.
And I hear what sounds like a drumbeat from the top of the mountain…

That is when I quit writing and just enjoyed the time.
Raining on and off for most of the walk.
In that time I realized again how much more powerful it is to experience God than simply to read about Him.

May each of you experience God.
Peace and love.

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4 thoughts on “Deer.

  1. wow. thanks bro. that was so refreshing to read.

    i am privileged to be on this journey with you.

    press on brother.

  2. In case it’s not clear, I’m so glad you’re blogging more frequently.
    You have a voice that speaks so clearly things that matter.
    And I’m glad to call you a friend.

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