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This is a podcast of this post.
Note: What follows is a post I wrote today... it is just bits and pieces, just as I wrote it. No editing. No polishing. If there are errors they will remain.
I am going to make a podcast for it that will include bits of the music I was listening to as I wrote it.
You can click the pictures to enlarge them.
I never did get into a spiritual routine this summer.
I wanted to, I intended to, I promised I would. It didn’t happen.
And that is ok.
The rhythm of the teacher’s life is one of change. So, my spiritual life must follow that sort of rhythm. I find my time for prayer as it fits in between hikes in Yellowstone, rinsing paint from brushes, and taking graduate classes.
Today, right this moment, I am praying and writing, and breaking my fast while resting at a little shrine on a hilltop above a Trappist monastery.
It is probably the first time a computer has been here. Almost certainly the first time someone brought a laptop, an iPod, a camera, a headset with microphone for recording podcasts, and the snacks and reading material I felt I needed to have with me.
But between these paragraphs has been quiet times, prayerful moments, and I feel reconnected to my Lord.
I’m an hour and a half walk from the monastery (frequent pauses in the hike rising 750’).
My friend and I arrived about 6:15 this morning to listen to the prayers of the monks, and now we have our own solitude.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit... bless me today. Cleanse my heart and wash me clean of the sins, the failings, the selfish concerns I practice every day. Bless me Lord, hear my prayer.
Thank you for my wife, my lovely, sweet Brenda. Help her to know how much she is loved, how much she means to me. Thank you for my relationship with her. Thank you for this good season in our lives when we seem to be communicating better, loving better, listening better. Thank you for my partner and friend Lord. Bless her with strength and peace and the knowledge that I love her more than I love my own body.
Thank you for my children Lord.
Thank you for Jeremiah. For his good heart and his eagerness to please. Thank you for his o...
(interruption... someone has arrived)
Thank you for his tremendous growth over this past year. Thank you for helping me to help him through the challenges that came from that day a year ago when he played with fire in our church, Your church, and caused so much damage.
Thank you for Isaac Lord. Thank you for the indications I hold so dear that he is beginning to come out of his shell, that he is making a little progress in making friends. Thank you for this boy, this young man, who gives me bear hugs and feels safe enough with me to ask all sorts of questions about life.
Thank you for Willy Lord. My breath still shortens, my chest stills constricts when I think of that darling child who bore my name and lies beneath the headstone of petrified wood. Thank you for his impact in my life. Though it hurts still, I am grateful for the lessons I received from his life. That a child can be mine, and I can lose that child, and still follow, still grow, still learn to be Your servant. That life does not stop, even when I want it to... and that life can be good, life can be full of joy, even when the worst happens. Thank you for Willy.
I have one request Lord.
In the midst of the joy in our home I feel a shadow. Our family is happier, stronger than ever, but there is something plaguing our sleep. Each of us has had nightmares for the past week. I wake Brenda from her moaning sleep, she wakes me from mine. The boys complain that they are having bad dreams.
I’m reluctant to claim spiritual warfare at every ailment, every headache, but Lord, there is something creeping about the shadows once again.
So I pray, I ask, bless my home Lord. Send Your Spirit, Your protection to my home.
May the prayers I speak over my family each night be full and strong and protective. If there is sin, if there is wrongness, or curses in my home, bring them into the light Lord so I may call them out to You clearly and rid my home of their influence. If there are forces creeping about the shadows of my house, my home, shove them away, defeat them Lord.
Thank you Lord for all You have given me. Direct my path everywhere I go.
I am Your servant and wait upon your bidding.
Bless me today Lord.
As I walk down from this hilltop guide my steps and prompt me to pause to pray and to look where You would have me Look.
I am Yours my Lord... my master.
It is so peaceful here. So quiet. I’m reluctant to leave. but I have just an hour and a half to get back down to meet my friend. so I best go...
I know I need to keep moving... I’ve got to get down the hill... but a wonderful feeling of joy is sweeping through me... I want to make a note of it it. I feel so blessed! Before me lies a magnificent view of the vineyards of the Willamette Valley...
...and above me are boughs of douglas firs, and within me is a heart that is leaping. I know that my prayers of concern for my home are going to be answered.
I may have much more praying to do, perhaps other actions as well... but I am the Lord’s and He is watching over me. God is good. That is enough...
----------------------------I carried 20 pounds of technology and books and stuff up this hill... 750’ in elevation... but the biggest burdens I had I’m not carrying back down! All praises to the Lord God Almighty! Life is very good.
I’m nearly back to the monastery... A large bird has been circling me... wondering what I am up to...
Shall I post this piece on my blog? The joy I felt as I left the summit is still with me... and I have snapped many pictures of things as I came down... it might be fun to put it together... perhaps a podcast which includes the music I’ve been listening to as I walked.
This has been a good walk... a walk in the Garden... He watches over me, and He walks with me... I don’t do this enough...
Thank You Lord! I praise You! You are my strength, You refresh me when I am weary, You lift my burdens from my shoulders. I love You Lord. I am Your servant. I pray Lord that this joy lasts for a very long time. Permit me to spread this joy to my family.
Thank You for my wife. Thank You for my children. Thank You for my home, and my friends. For my pastor and my work and my life. I love You. Lead me Lord. I will follow. --Amen.
I’m back. On a whim I took an old road through the woods to see where it would lead. I came across s pot where a blue jay came to its end, the signs of its struggle evident in the feathers scattered about.
The slope became gentler, the spaces more open. And I found myself behind large buildings, leased to a vineyard to store their aging wines. Following the directions of a worker I passed the book bindery, the cloister of the monks, and a small cemetery. I know where I am on the map now.
I’m resting now before we have lunch in a few minutes. I think I hear my friend coming.
I still feel the joy of the Lord.
What a refreshing walk for the soul it was today...
I’m home... I met up with my friend... we went to prayers and then ate the lunch the monks had prepared. Afterward he and I walked...
to the picnic area where there is a baseball field... and picnic tables. We talked and prayed.
I needed this today.