Retreat this weekend at Rainbow Trails Lutheran camp - amazing. Could be many blog entries.
The weekend was about pausing and resting.
The final night we sat around the fire. There was a box on the outside altar. In the box were little pieces of paper where people wrote things that distracted them in life, things that were bothering them, small or large.
My little paper had about 6 things quickly scribbled. They wake me up at night. They have been consuming almost all of me. To me, they are huge; they hurt sometimes and invoke anger at other times. And they hold onto me, just as I hold onto them.
The box with a ton of little pieces of paper was thrown into the fire. And we were to try to let go. By throwing this box in the fire, we were to give these things up to God.
And I stared. I stared at the box burning. The fire circle was adjacent to a large cross which caught my eye. I looked to the cross. I looked back at the box, with a bunch of bitter and hurt feelings aimed right at that box as I just stared. I alternated - cross, intense box staring, cross, intent box staring, cross, then looking up beyond the cross, at the smoke flying past the cross, looking up, toward the shadows of clouds and bright stars shining through it all. And at some point, when I was done with this strange sequence of events, I left. I left it there.
That night, last night, was the most peaceful mental night I've had in some time.
I'm sure I'll revert back to the other nights.
But somehow, for that one night, with that sequence of events, I could somehow briefly let go and hand the whole big mess over to God. It was powerful and good, just as we are reminded that no matter what happens, God is good.
Peace of Christ.