Run to the Temple

Good morning...
Another long, but good, weekend full of activity.

I'll start with Saturday morning...
I decided to wake up and have breakfast before what I expected to be a long day.
I was up before the rest of my family and was out the door and went to Hardee's for a biscuit and gravy breakfast.  -- I know not the most healthy, but it was tasty.
I usually take my devotion with me and will read and write and often post, but decided to do something different Saturday morning.  I was going to observe.
There is a group of folks around having breakfast, but the one group that caught my attention was a group I see in there every time I go in on Saturday.  It is a group of older men and women, mostly if not all retired.  Some are widowed, some have their spouses with them.  What I notice is that they are living life.  They are enjoying their conversations, they are sharing about the events of the week, they are sharing about their children.  I couldn't help but notice the enjoyment they seemed to have just getting together for a brief couple hours and just talking.   As I set there alone, I tried to picture myself in another 20-30 years and who I might be surrounded by.

I spent the afternoon Saturday with my mom working in her yard trying to fill some mud patches with some mulch and rock that I was discarding from my own home.  Hard work, but enjoyable visit.
She is one of the hardest working women I know.  She has no problem picking up a shovel, an axe, or any other tool and getting in and getting dirty.  She had plans Saturday evening, so my opportunity to take her out to dinner will be postponed until later this week.

My wife and I went to dinner by ourselves to a local restaurant after I got home and cleaned up.
We sat in a corner of a local burger establishment and just talked.  We talked about life, we talked about relationships, we talked about hurts, we talked about challenges, we talked about successes... we just talked.  It was nice, it was emotional at times - for me more than for her at this point.

I spent Sunday afternoon with my wife and 3 kids.  We enjoyed an early dinner together and some shopping to celebrate Mother's Day.  It wasn't as "fantastical" as I had hoped, but I hope she enjoyed it and I hope she knows she is loved by her 4 kids...

Sunday evening we sat back and relaxed... I watched a movie that hit me harder than I expected.
The movie is call "Without A Trace".   It follows a middle aged vet and his daughter that have chosen to live life completely off grid in a tent in a town in Oregon.   Both seem to be doing well and have a pretty good relationship.  You find the "off-grid" and isolated life style is how the man has chosen to cope with his PTSD.

I won't ruin the show, but let's just say it impacted me more than I expected.  In many ways I could relate to the man who has chosen to pull out of the expectations of society. The responsibility of work and life, away from "fake relationships".  He has chosen to live a solitude life with his daughter.  Teaching her how to survive in the wilderness, educating her, etc.
While I do not plan to become a hermit, I did find the lifestyle appealing in some ways.

Then I read this mornings devotion...
The title: "Sinned Against Again"

and I read Bill's Post

This weekend (and this morning) continues to challenge me.
Relationship has been an recurring theme and I am not sure how many more signs I am going to need...

I have been hurt deeply by a number of close friends in the past.  I also know that I have hurt others deeply.   Relationships are hard, they cause pain, they cause grief, they cause bitterness and anger.
But a life without relationships can be even more devastating.

We have been created to be social beings... The problem is I often don't "feel" like being social.
I don't like crowds, I tend to joke as a defense mechanism instead of opening up.
I tend to bury my hurts and pain, though I must admit this is getting harder to do at times.
Some days I just want to escape, I want to run, I want to find myself an isolated section of woods and be by myself.

As I read the devotion this morning, the first way Tripp recommends responding to being sinned against... and I will add.... negative thoughts in general...

Below is almost verbatim from the Tripp's book and recommendation.

"Run to the temple"... Run to the Lord, not away from him.
I spend to much time thinking about the negative and not nearly enough about the positive.  I am not giving God the credit or the thanksgiving that I should be for all the good things in my life.  I tend to focus on the one or two negative areas and let that overshadow that 1000's upon 1000's of positive things going on.  Simply meditating on the beauty of our Lord and allowing my mind to focus his love, mercy, grace, patience , faithfulness, gentleness, wisdom, power, forgiveness, and kindness.
Life is not a contradiction to the above, it is a demonstration of them.

Thanks for reading, I know it was longer than usual.


  1. Thanks for pulling me into your world Ryan. I miss our time together and this is nice. It sounded like a full and somewhat satisfying weekend. "Off the grid" to me means staying off my computer. I try to stay off the phone when I am with Jo but it is hard when she doesn't. Except for phone calls i can do that. As for the devotion, I do agree it is much more positive and gratifying to spend time meditating on the beauty of God and all He gives than to bemoan what I don't have. I have too much from Him to even consider that an option. I am a much more social creature than you are personality-wise so being a hermit really doesn't appeal to me on a long-term basis. But there are times... :) And thanks for the shout out on the blog.

    1. Thank you Bill, i miss our time together as well. Definitely a full weekend.
      I do think our "off the grid" definitions may be entirely different, but that is ok.
      I continue to be amazed when God shows me so many similar items that link together from multiple sources. I don't find it a coincidence.


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