Today’s blog was to have been a photo post from the weekend spent at a Bed and Breakfast home with a girlfriend. As you can see it has become a full-blown post peppered with a few photos. For some time the two of us had been hatching a plan to sneak in a weekend and have God conversations. God understands the pace and distractions that cross our paths, so the idea of special time to share thoughts and meditations with a kindred had a ring of ‘retreat’ about it. Quiet time with God quietens my spirit and a glorious peace settles; creating space and time to listen and be restored.
The accommodation and hospitality at the Bed and Breakfast were blessings, totally, and the company and conversation enveloped us completely. However, that wasn’t what the weekend was about. It was to have been a time of restoring so we could go into the following weeks with a clear direction. While we thoroughly enjoyed the spoiling – the food was beyond divine – and captivating conversations, it was difficult to pull away without seeming rude and ungrateful. And that’s how I feel now that I’m back home … disgruntled and sleep deprived. Am I the only one who has difficulty sleeping one or two nights away from home?
I’m tired, feeling a tad grumpy (can you tell) and incredibly grateful that I have tomorrow off because I can catch up with God. I know whatever we set aside to honour Him is a blessing and in that vein I’ve posted up a few photos of the beautiful surroundings of my weekend with my girlfriend in the home of wonderful hosts. There are tails to tell of such hospitality and generosity, but not today. The markets we visited on Saturday morning, the beautiful beach walk in the afternoon and the meander down the village’s main street checking out land and house prices are memories to treasure.
You’ll recognise the poem below. It has been floating around for years, every so often it cycles back and now it serves as a timely reminder to keep my heart soft and my spirit sweet even when I am tired and hanging out for my own bed …
‘Lord, you know better than anybody that I’m getting older and will someday be old. Keep me from being talkative; from the fatal habit of thinking I’ve got to say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from the need to straighten out everybody’s affairs. Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. I ask for grace to listen to the tales of others’ pains and to endure them with patience. But seal my lips when it comes to my own aches and pains, for they’re increasing, and my love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. I ask for improved memory, but even more for a growing humility and a lessening cock-sureness when my memory seems to clash with the memory of others. Teach me that occasionally I may be mistaken. Keep me reasonably sweet. I don’t want to be a ‘saint’ because some of them are so hard to live with – and a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil. Make me thoughtful, but not moody; helpful, but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it; but you know, Lord, I still want to have a few friends at the end. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people, then give me the grace to tell them so. Amen.’