We spent this past weekend at Rainbow Trails Lutheran Camp in Colorado, where there is a Labor Day retreat. Most people go to this to get away and relax - I do too. Each year I wonder if it will be as "magical" as in the past, and each year it is.
The past 2 years, I've gone to the retreat with some serious "issues," and I've found the retreat a place/way to hand the issues over to God, as much as possible, so I can just sleep better at night. This year I didn't have the same big issues. Something was/is bugging me; I'm not sure what it was/is, and I really didn't know if I would have the same type of experience.
This year was great in many ways. One thing I realize when I go to things, or one thing I remember when I go to things, is that I really don't like to be alone. That may surprise some who know me or knew me when I was younger, but it's true. I pack everything up from our cabin for the day, and I don't really go back to the cabin until night. I don't want to go back simply because I don't want to be alone. I enjoy getting to know people, and this year I met some new people and saw people I had met in the past. So there is that.
One thing I think was/is bugging me this year has been the effects of the summer heat. It hasn't been as hot this summer as it was last year, but I've been to some hot, all day track meets for my daughter, and doing that has been killing me. This retreat has been the place where I realize my legs do still work, and I think I was nervous about it this year. But, they worked! It's fascinating... drop the temperature by 20 degrees and everything works better. I was standing straighter and adding a new drill I made up after working with my physical therapist. Someone asked me how often I exercise and I responded "as much as possible." The temperature dropped even further with a huge rainstorm, and I just kept walking. This year I was walk much longer than in previous years.
And finally, there's the handing things over to God thing. There's a song called "My Little Room" that we sing each year. The lyrics are something like this:
"When the lightning’s laughing/ And the thunder laps are crashing/ Remind me that you’re asking, for me to go inside of My little room/ where I can pray/ and trust that God will find a way to/ even on the darkest night/ fill the sky with little sparks of light."
We were singing this the first night and it really hit me - there are so many parts of life that are difficult; there are many times in life when thunder is crashing, we wonder if things will work out, perhaps we doubt ourselves and our abilities, and we wonder about the motives of others. These are the times when we should pray and trust that the promise of God's Grace will guide us. Let go of so many things that are overwhelming about life.
The weekend was as amazing as it was in other years. In other years, I've had specific "issues." This year, all the little things can creep up on us, and rather than jumping from one thing to the next without trying to hit the panic button, maybe we should take a step back and trust God.