This week at Lakeshore 1/31 – 2/6

Whenever you have a big snow, it is inevitable that you will have a big melt. This was that week at Lakeshore. I’m sure that it was sunny at some point this week, but in my mind it seems as if the skies were pretty well gray each and every day. I woke up early several days this week to run, and I ran to Eva Beach and back. This is about 3 miles, which sounds pretty good, but loses a bit of glamour when you compare it to the 6 miles I was running just a month ago. On Monday when I ran, there were places where my steady jogging form turned into more of a speed skating form. The road to Eva Beach did not get the sun or the salt trucks that the main highway did, so I had to be very careful so as not to slip and bring on a soreness unrelated to the running. By Thursday morning, the only snow left were piles that had been pushed together when pushed off the road. As you walk around camp, even now, you see places where snow is still hiding from the sun. I first thought someone had dumped trash down one of our hills, then realized it was just the last holdouts of snow.

On Tuesday, Lakeshore did some traveling, as I went to Moscow (Tennessee not Russia) to do teambuilding for Collierville UMC’s staff. There was a group of 20 or so people who were having a staff retreat to rest and bond. They spent the morning making crosses from items they brought from home and other supplies. Then we spent the afternoon doing trust exercises. It seemed to go so fast. Before I knew it, it was time for us to finish, do worship, then leave the retreat center in Moscow. It was, though, great to get to interact with such a thriving staff. Afterwards, I took some time to write in my journal, but felt the need to also do some exploring, to stop off somewhere new. To pull my car over on the side of the road at some small creek or river. Maybe get out at a cow pasture and watch them picking through the grass. I’ve recently been thinking that trips down highways like these should be interrupted by an occasional stop to take in the scenery for a moment.

But, I did not stop. I was behind schedule a little more than I felt I should be, so I pushed on. I do plan to make this time someday, I guess when I can discipline myself a little better for time. For me, these things come in phases. There was a time when I couldn’t make myself get up to eat breakfast, a time when I didn’t make the bed, a time when I found it hard to have time to even pray. But there comes these points when something clicks (or at least I hope they come). Something melts off of us and we don’t feel so restricted. We can do this thing, and what was holding us back does not seem so significant.

An old friend, Philip, came up this afternoon to scout out a bridge building project he is preparing for a youth retreat later. The plan is to build a bridge across the creek on the Lowe Trail, which has been under construction for the past several years. The trail is pretty near completion for any guest to hike, and this bridge will definitely add a nice touch to it. We walked out to the spot, which is fairly deep in the woods. It will take some work just to get the supplies to this remote area. We were near the creek for much of our trip. With the snow melting and the rain we’ve had today, the creek was running pretty strong. You could hear it as you approached. I love these times when the creek is so strong. You see how water flow can change. How it can rise when all that rain and former snow come together, all marching towards that same place. It is a sight to see.

It seems that the gray will be hanging around for at least a few more days, before we see blue skies and feel the warmth of sunlight on our faces. But, there is plenty going on here. That gray in the sky will, at some point, add up enough water that it will fall down to us, soak into the ground to feed us, or just rush right by, onto something bigger than we can imagine.

This weekend we have the Conference-wide confirmation retreat. Be in prayer for them and the journey they have begun with the church. We also have a person here taking a few solitary days in one of our small cabins to be alone in prayer. Pray for his time and that we all get some time like this. See you next week.

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