In the last couple of months we have discovered the joy of camping. The inconvenience associated with outdoor living has always been a deterrent but after cautiously attempting one night in the roof top tent on our landy, parked just outside our front door, we decided we might be able to survive a night in the wild ie. a camping site. We thought it wise to take things slow and make our first outing a single night venture. Now we are happy to announce that we are comfortable with two nights and are planning the impressive next leap of a full three nights out!
All jokes aside, there is something about camping that helps us to really unwind and rest. Riekert says it’s because sitting around the fire and staring into the flames is the most tiring activity of the day. I think it has something to do with the fact that you are forced to stop…
“Stop. Breath. Think. Act”. This is the mantra taught to scuba divers to help them avoid panic in potentially dangerous situations at sea. I have heard the words often while Riekert instructed his diving students. I think the saying is very wise council for any crisis!
Our lives are too full and too busy and we need to find a way to stop and breath. Jesus often went into the desert (Matt 4:1), the wilderness (Luke 5:16), the lonely places (Mark 1:35, Matt 14:13), the mountains (Matt 14:23 and17:1-9) and the garden (Matt 26:36-46). He instructed the disciples who returned after a missions trip to ,”come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile” (Mark 6:31). Jesus understood the need of the soul of a man for solitude. We desperately need to realign ourselves, to destress, to unwind, to think. We need to find God in our frantic lives. We need to hear His voice in the din of the madness that surrounds us. We need to feel His presence in the loneliness of our busyness. We need to know we are still clearly distinguishing the footsteps of our Shepherd. All these needs can only be met in solitude.
May we find the way to the lonely places so that we can rest awhile with Jesus.