It didn’t take long for me to recognize that my soul was not well. I was anxious, quick to speak, slow to listen, and reactive in relationships. I didn’t feel like I had anything to give to anyone and wanted to just be left alone for a long time.
Some of that happened, and it was good for Jesus and me! A 10 day trip to Hawaii was a good start. Mom and Dad would just let me live life at my own pace. There was a lot of sleeping in, some movies enjoyed, a number of drives around the island of Oahu. I could almost feel the breath of God re-entering my soul.
I surprised Colleen with a weekend on Santa Barbara. She thought I wasn’t coming home until Sunday. I had her delivered to a romantic hotel in Santa Barbara on Friday where she found me waiting for her.
After a few days at home, we left for a long weekend to Columbia, where her parents live in Northern California. Their home is located on a quiet hill overlooking the tiny Columbia Airport. The purr of propeller-powered airplanes was the only noise to bear. As a one-day-hope-to-be pilot, that noise was music for me.
Colleen and I spent the final week of my month off at Cedarly Pastors Retreat in Delfaield, Wisconsin. It’s located 30 minutes west of Milwaukee. I recommend this place to Pastors as often as I can. It’s an early 1900’s mansion on a lake that has been renovated into a 6 bedroom Bed & Breakfast Retreat Center for Pastors. The kicker is that it’s totally free, including all meals from Sunday afternoon through Friday morning. All you have to do is get there.
The only requirement is that the Pastor and spouse be at lunch with everyone else each day. The food is exquisitely prepared and you are truly pampered from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave. It’s one of those experiences that you don’t feel like you deserve. That feeling is an issue in itself, but that’s for another post.
Being there at the end of February, everything was frozen, but that was alright. It was the time we needed with each other and with God. It was there that I heard the Lord speak to me again.
I was sitting in a chair in our room, looking out over the beauty of the frozen lake and tundra, listening to an instrumental worship CD. My soul began to melt. I began to sing the words, “Draw me close to You, never let me go, …. You’re all I want, You’re all I’ve ever needed, You’re all I want, help me know You are near.”
As tears began to flow, I heard the Lord speak into my spirit …. “I never intended for you to live your life at the pace you’ve been living it.” It was as clear as a bell. I knew instantly that God was speaking into a place that had been very dark for me of recent days.
We left Cedarly on Friday and toured Wisconsin for the weekend, as our flight was set to leave on Sunday. On the flight home, I sensed His voice again …. “When you get home, don’t get back on the same treadmill you’ve been on.”
The first time He spoke, it made sense. This time, I didn’t know what to do. I knew He was speaking, but I didn’t know what to do with it. My treadmill of life is the one I’ve been on for a long time. I want to obey God, but all of a sudden, I didn’t know how.
What was deeply stirring for me was that God still speaks in the dark. If He still speaks in the dark, that means He must be present in the dark too. I began to realize that I wasn’t sure of that truth, and it troubled me.
Yet He spoke. Now I knew He was (and is) there.
© 2008 Paul D. Kuzma