The family and I took an annual pilgrimage to an island place (which, just in case you think I'm paid way too much, is in the middle of tropical storm season. Let's just say there were some heavy discounts for brave/foolish visitors) that we enjoy very much.  I sat in the humid Caribbean breezes, sweating but not caring at all, reading and resting and drinking in the part of creation that I don't glimpse from my perch in the Midwest.

It was interesting to see how I went from thinking about what needed to happen here at Parkview to, well, honestly not thinking at all about Parkview or the many splendored things that are on my plate at this time.

My prayer was spontaneous and centered around shade, fine palm trees, the taste of well cooked snapper, and other natural smudges of God's fingerprint.

I didn't read any Scripture, but several came to mind as we walked and shared time together as a family.

I didn't do any acts of service, save being present to the girls in a way that I'm not always capable of doing in the workaday weeks at home in Chicago.

In the end, I don't feel the judgment or distance of God at all. I stepped outside of my typical disciplines and rhythms and find no jury being convened to assess my fitness for ministry. What I find instead is a hunger to return to those disciplines, a hunger to find a rhythm of writing and teaching and spiritual direction, a hunger to realize my own sphere of leadership and influence in a much deeper way.

I am better off for having walked different trails this past week. When was the last time you took a machete and hacked your own way to remote places in order to find God, present and more wholly capable, again?

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