Thursday, January 22, 2009
I'm spending the week here at Pine Springs Ranch (a camp site in Hemet, CA) for The Journey retreat hosted by my organization, The Leadership Institute. Last Tuesday evening I opened the first session of the Generation 17 (our latest Gen) with a talk on "Spiritual Companioning on the Journey." The following morning I gave a devotional message on the Psalms. I felt good about the two talks but right after that I came under the weather and felt sick. I must have caught the "bug" from one of the Journey participants. Last night was specially miserable for me as I tried to no avail to sleep but with the constant coughing and runny nose, it became nearly impossible to have a restful night. This morning didn't prove to be any better but I headed out just the same with some friends to check out a nearby lake. After just about a 10-minute drive we arrived into this magnificent area with such breathtaking scenery. We all couldn't wait to get down and stroll around. I walked and walked until I landed on a high spot on top of some huge rocks. It's been a while since I walked around a lake and this one is exceptionally beautiful and serene. The quietness seemed deafening at first but I soaked it all in. What a rich time of solitude even though it was a relatively brief time all by myself surrounded by those big rocks. I really felt like God was right beside me in that entire moment of quiet - something that I've never felt and sensed in a long time. It was as if I was savoring every minute of just "hanging out" with God and I was filled with peace in my soul. There was hardly any doubt in my heart that God was there with me. I could literally sense his presence in that place of stillness! What a gift I received today. It seems inconsequential and no big deal at all but for me it was a huge experience and I can't even begin to describe it. Anyway, I still feel weak and a bit sick physically but I feel so rested in my soul. This serves to be one of the greatest highlights of my Journey experience! God is good and is very present indeed!