Sometimes you just need to sneak away from the people in your tent. This is necessary when you need a little space…a little time apart. To really get away, you need to apply all of the skills you learned as a teenager about sneaking out of the house. Walk quietly. Carry your shoes in your hands. Hold your breath. Only do what is necessary. Avoid the squeaky stair. “Borrow” the car keys. Close the door quietly behind you. And once you are out of the house and back out of the driveway, you can finally breathe.
After many hours in the car together recently, it was necessary to sneak away from the people I love one morning. My need for a good cup of coffee guided me to a local coffee shop. Over a beautiful cafe latte, I found my spiritual center again. My portable quiet time tools had traveled with me. With each sip of my coffee and each word of my quiet time tools (a.k.a. Bible and devotional), I felt me shoulders relax and my spirit wake up. All that sneaking around was worth every minute. I had been born anew for another day. I felt like Nicodemus, a Jewish leader.
Nicodemus was a sneaky guy too. His shoulders were tense from all his Sanhedrin work. His spirit probably felt unsettled as he went about his work knowing that Jesus was near by, within his reach. He knew Jesus was from God because there was no other explanation for the miracles he had heard about. He certainly needed some time way from the people around him and the only way to get it was to sneak away, under the cover of darkness. So he did. The conversation that followed was mind boggling for Nicodemus. Jesus made perfect sense even though his words made no sense at all.
My conversation with Jesus at the coffee shop was mind boggling too. It always is. Usually Jesus’ words make perfect sense even though they don’t make any sense at all from my view. They are words that stir my soul, stretch my faith and satisfy my spirit. They empower me to experience another day and experience the moments I may have missed otherwise. That is why I am like Nicodemus…I must be born anew day after day.
As the week went on, my tent people began following me to the sacred coffee shop. One at a time, they heard about the experience and the place, so they came too. At times there were two of us and other times there were five. The other faces at the shop became familiar. Strangers became friends. A whole community of people were also sneaking away from their tents temporarily to find something their soul needed…community, coffee and Jesus.
Are you in need of some time away? Find a way and make it happen. It is well worth all your efforts. Nicodemus and me will cheer you on!
From our Happy Tent to Yours,
Let me introduce you to Gloria. A little over two weeks ago, my family received a call and we were told we would soon be moving our tent. Not just the new indoor tent we are enjoying, but our bigger tent. We were all a little taken back by the news. But to calm our initial thoughts, we decided to go and spy…tip toe spying.
When we arrived at our new location, we stopped to have lunch at the Collin Street Bakery. With sunglasses on and hats pulled low, we entered the welcoming eatery. The first things we saw were cakes, pies, cookies and of course fruit cakes. Our first reaction, this is going to turn our just fine. Yummy!
Then we met Gloria (aka God). Gloria was a beautiful woman and her spirit shined. She brought us our food and quickly observed that we did not receive any chips to go with our sandwiches. She talked to both of our daughters and said, “Little mommas…come with me, you need some chips.” They soon returned with smiles and four packages of chips. They were so excited explaining how they were free, really free. Later when Gloria (aka God) checked on our spy table, she observed that we did not have one cookie on our table. Once again, she recruited our daughters to correct this problem because she recognizes good help when she sees it and said, “Little mommas…come with me, you need some cookies.” They returned with bigger smiles and a plate full of twelve cookies.
Our spying skills seemed to slip under the table as laughter and smiles filled our hearts. When we left we looked for Gloria (aka God) to thank her and could not find her. Then we knew she really was God!
We are on a new adventure, but we know that God is there too!