Sounds Like…

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Tyler State Park – isn’t it beautiful?  Even in the dead of “winter.”

I spent my next-to-last Saturday in the States with the girls I’m going to Impfondo with on a silent retreat in the woods of East Texas – and it was a beautiful day.  It was quite chilly in the shade, but the apricity!  I eventually took a little nap on the shore you can see in the top right of my picture.  I can see that animals have got that whole sleeping in the sun thing figured out.  But… it took me a while to get there.

It seems like the hardest part of going on a silent retreat is making being silent yourself.  I was thinking, “Okay, God.  I’m here, and here’s what I want to talk about today… UGH, why can’t these people be QUIET?!  I’m on a silent retreat!… Sorry God... Okay, I need you to talk to me about my final project, and about my testimony… and this… and that…”

I eventually walked all the way around the lake, settling for a time in two spots.  Once by a beaver’s dam, where I got frustrated because I didn’t see a beaver.  And then on the shore that I ended up napping on.  Both times, my Bible’s pages blew open to Ecclesiastes 4-6.  So I read them.  Twice.  He never told me about the things I wanted to talk about, at least not in the way that I wanted to talk about them.

So, in all my hours at the park, here are the things I learned:

  • It’s better to wear a sign that says, “I’m on a silent retreat, so that people you pass on the trail don’t look at you like you’re crazy and quicken their pace when you blink at them after they say “hi.”
  • If you keep opening your Bible to the same book, maybe you should read it.
  • Expect to hear God, but don’t put Him in a box on how He can speak to you.  I wanted to see a beaver, but never did.
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