One of the things I have learned about me is that I need time alone regularly. Another that is closely related is that I need time alone with God for an extended period. Occasionally, I have taken a day off from work just to go hiking and commune with my Creator. Every time I have done it, I knew that I need to do that more often. A couple of weeks ago, I was reviewing my goals for 2006. One of them was to get away with God four times during the year. It occurred to me that the best way to make that happen was to get it on the calendar. So I requested four days vacation from work spaced about 3 months apart. The first of those four days was today.
First thing this morning, Jeanie and I made the effort to start fulfilling another goal for this year. That goal was to get our financial house in better order. So, we met with a financial advisor.
I hate dealing with money. I hate budgeting. I hate paying bills. I don’t even keep track of pay days. To prove it, when I was sharing this with Tim (the counselor), I told him that I don’t even know when I get paid. Jeanie said, “You got paid today.” It is certainly not because I am rich. I have just figured out that if I work at my job, they will pay me and Jeanie will make sure the bills get paid. Then I don’t have to think about it. As much as I love to do everything for myself, money tasks are not high on my list of things to do.
Even though I hate dealing with money (myself), I recognize that we need an objective person (who likes dealing with money) to let us know how we are doing. He will use sophisticated tools (that I don’t care to learn about) to project how we will do in the future if we keep doing what we are doing. He will make suggestions based on our goals to help us get where we want to be. Sounds like a great idea to me.
…Back to my day. After taking Jeanie home, I headed to the Ribbon Walk for the afternoon. If you live near Charlotte, NC and you haven’t gone to the Ribbon Walk, you should check it out. It is a small forest with trails and lakes right in the town of Derita. They have a special place called the Treasure Tree Grove, where several huge 150-200 years old beech trees grow. What a lovely place. I sat on the benches there for a long time; journaling and praying and reading and journaling and praying some more. God met me there and it was sweet.
I took my journal out there and the first thing I wrote was an “agenda”. I have a very short memory and I tend to go off on tangents with my thoughts. I used this list to help keep me on track. One huge prayer was heavy on my heart, but there were a lot of other pressing issues. Each time I thought of something, I added it to the list. One by one, I went through each item on the list in prayer.
I believe that God is real and that a relationship to Him is much more than a religious ritual. After walking with him for most of my life, I forget that others might not understand that. When I pray, I am spending time with the Creator of the Universe! That is unbelievably awesome! How could I be so presumptuous that He would have time for me? And yet, somehow He does. He hears my cries and today He even reminded me of some things I had left off of my list! Go figure.
I feel refreshed and renewed. I feel like He heard me and that He cares enough to answer my prayers. Not because I am anyone special. Anything special about me is from Him. It is only because He chooses to let me talk to Him and be real with Him.
I take my hard questions to Him. Did I get all the answers? No, but I got some of them. Will I do it again? I can hardly wait for May 30th!