the trail in the woods

When I was in high school I would often drive to a local walking trail when I wanted to have some time alone to sit and think. I grew up in suburban Kansas City where the City had gone to great effort to create an extensive system of parks, all of which were connected by walking and biking trails. There were a number of access points throughout the city, one of which was just down the street from my high school. One day I found a spot along the walking path where a dirt trail veered off into the woods. With nothing better to do that day I decided to follow the path to see where it led. After a short time I came upon a creek lined with large boulders. The drop off from the top of the rocks to the bottom of the creek was probably no more than fifteen feet, but the view from the top of the rocks down the creek was beautiful and the location was serene. Almost as if by design, I had found a peaceful and secluded location in the midst of a very busy metropolitan area. Over the years when I needed a bit of serenity and peace in the midst of an otherwise very busy lifestyle, God would often draw me there, and we would sit together on those rocks overlooking my little creek.

Do you ever feel as if you can’t even remember when the last time was that life slowed down long enough for you to enjoy it? If someone sat across from you today and asked what you would like to do if you had some free time, would you have an answer…or have you been running so fast for so long, trying so hard just to keep your head above the waves that you don’t even know what you enjoy doing anymore? One of the great ironies of life is that we tend to fill it to the brim with things that don’t really matter very much. We tell ourselves that they do, and we wish that they did…but the sad truth at the end of every day is that we know that they didn’t. When you spend too much of life aimlessly running from one irrelevant activity to the next it becomes very difficult to remember who you are.

If you are far too close to burning out…or if you passed the burnout stage a very long time ago…then maybe you should head out to look for that little dirt path that veers off into the woods. God is waiting for you there…on the rocks by the river…waiting to spend time with you, waiting to recharge your heart, waiting for you to remember that He’s there…even in the midst of an otherwise very busy lifestyle.

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