There is a quiet place, a secret place, that is yours for restoration. There is a realness in the stillness. Go there, when you can; when you need to. It's safe. For me, it is the Other Side of the Trees.
Nights, sometimes endless …Inside, a burning fever, a fever of fearing the future, but longing for more … a fever summoning me from the slumber I cherish. I feel like there is something wrong. This is not where I am supposed to be. This is not the way life is supposed to be, a paradox, accentuated by that quote: “The hardest place to be, is right where you’re at.”
It takes an effort to go into the place, metaphorically a small storage shed, where some thoughts might need to be tweaked or discarded; where emotions need to be checked; where self-pity needs to be conquered, left on the battlefield for the wild animals to feast on … And a question that resurrects me from my restless soul: “What do I know to be true?” I know that I am a good man, that I do have what it takes. I know that I do have hope, passion … That they are not gone. They just to be tapped and released. There is a process. And it is part of my calling to be faithful to the process, and there is some mystery in the process. That’s okay. And a restless soul is not always a bad thing.
Back In My Younger Days … I worked a summer job up in Rocky Mountain National Park. A place called the Trail Ridge Store, right-smack-dab in the middle of the drive, Trail Ridge Road, from Grand Lake on the west end, to Estes Park on the east end. During the summer, tourists start on one side or the other, drive 24 miles up to the store, and then get out and buy some chili, or a sandwich, or coffee, or trinkets, or camera film, or jewelry, or a t-shirt, etc. And after the restroom break, the family gets back in their vacation-mobile, and continue on their way, this time down the other side. What was always interesting … to me, was that visitors entered the park, parked a couple of times on the way up for pictures, stopped at the store, and parked a few times for pictures on the way down. And most folks wouldn’t take time to get active, hike a trail, and really see what is out there. But then again, they were probably on a timetable. They had to be in Denver for their hotel reservation, west, or in Boulder for a hotel reservation there.
Timetables. Cover as much ground as you can, even if it means missing some wonderful experiences along the way. Be active, right where you are at. Or, don’t.
By the way, special thanks to my friend Bryan, who inspired me write this post.
“Shrouded”… one of my favorite words. I see mountains shrouded in clouds, and I get a little mix of peace and intrigue. Men, women, children, are sometimes shrouded … in something, or by something … a phenomenon not always “nice”, but sometimes messy. This morning, I’m thinking of men shrouded … shrouded in the places of hiding: places of perceived meaningfulness; places that are considered safe; places where wounded warriors go, with hopes of healing. The man is shrouded. Maybe, his glory is shrouded.
“Who are you?” Silence
“Where are you?”
“What is your calling?”
Two questions for you: 1) have you ever sensed this … men shrouded in something, metaphorically “the clouds”?; and 2) do you have any thoughts about glory … your glory? It’s been said, that we are more aware of our ______________ (blank … fill it in … one word could be “shame”) than we are (aware) of our glory. I think of glory as something that shines. Glory is bright, powerful, indicative of man-fully-alive unleashed in an honorable manifestation. So, again: we are more aware of our … shame … than we are of our glory. And the glory can be intimidating: glory is bright and therefore hiding is more difficult; glory means, on some level, being known … more disruptive than not being known. Here is another image. This is a an odd little shelter, up on the road to Mount Evans, just about 100 yards off the main trail head.
Stepping into this little hut was a little weird. It felt pretty good. I didn’t stay long because I knew that I could find myself shrouded, inside this little shelter … and this was not where I was supposed to be. And that … is a loaded idea: to be where we are supposed to be. An individual who tells you where you are supposed to be, might be wrong. Either way, the pressure men and women feel about finding that place to be is a very real force that can throw us off our game.
My understanding is that … everyone … crossed over the turbulent, rapid-ridden river, into the new wilderness, 2016. So, no no one needs to be left behind, although at there are times when we may feel that way. Once again, that familiar piece of wisdom comes up, “You cannot always trust your feelings.” So, let’s move. And hold on to your hats.
The pain of countless tragedies, in 2015, is is a given … we shall not debate that truth. Nor, shall we camp on those countless tragedies. A big difference, between remembering, redemptively remembering … and giving over our power to the losses. In one sense, we can say,”We have no choice. We must move forward into the hope.” In another sense, it is good to acknowledge reality, especially in order for us to move on with intentionality: “Some may choose not to move forward.” The choice is the reality. Move? Or stay?
Walk with me, and I will walk with you, as we move forward … into the hope and the expectation that there are good things ahead, into the knowledge that we do have what it takes, into the light. Winston said something like this: “This could be our finest hour.” And, do something else with me: hold on to your hat.