It was my second climb up Crowders Mountain for the year. But it was a solo trip this time. The day had no sun making a showing and lots of grey clouds, but they in no way reflected my mood. Just some me time, God time…..actually ‘time’ wasn’t even a factor :) I have come to realize that waiting for someone to do the things that I like to do might keep me waiting forever, or worse yet, give me an excuse not to do it at all….so I packed my backpack, camera and tripod in tow, and headed out.
Craig Groeschel’s ‘Soul Detox’ is at the top of my reading queue and this was one of the reasons I made this trip. A soul detox captivated my mind ;) Detox by definition is a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances. Many of us detox our bodies, or if we don’t, we need to. It’s almost like a good ‘spring cleaning’. Giving our bodies a chance to reset and reboot.
A soul detox is a chance to get rid of soul pollutants. Negative emotions, negative thoughts, negative language, negative people and negative perspectives. Thoughts and feelings that go unchecked which cause anger, bitterness and resentment. Television shows that add nothing to your personal growth. People that drain you…who always have something negative going on. Busyness; never a moment to be still and reflect; to check in with your self and evaluate. To see if you’ve lost yourself in this thing called life.
A few weeks ago I was speaking to someone who was about to retire after 30 years. I asked her what was she going to do and she said “Find myself. I have lost myself over the years”. I didn’t want that. I wanted to learn to have all of me present in the moment.
Have you ever felt like you’ve lost your zeal, or as my partner at work puts it, being in a ‘rut’? Our soul is the essence of who we are. It is what makes us sing, dance, laugh, smile, love, glow, give, care, share, press on, keep hope alive, dream, our eyes sparkle…..
It doesn’t require a lot. Just taking a day or two to see how being around certain people make you feel, how listening to certain music makes you feel, how engaging in certain conversations make you feel. Do you feel positive and inspired, do you feel motivated, do you feel energized, do you feel closer to God? If not, Unplug.
Rest, walk, run, pray, swim, read, journal, cry, wonder, turn the TV off, turn off electronics, enjoy nature, take a vacation or a ‘stay’cation, make a gratitude list, date yourself, no more secrets, find accountability, surround yourself with positivity, embrace change and just be…..
This morning I was up early because I wanted to enjoy God in nature before I made it to our worship service. I went to the greenway near my house an hour or so later than I usually do. You see, a week ago, a female runner reported that she was attacked at knifepoint by some guy hiding in the woods and he tried to drag her in the woods. She kicked him in the ‘you know what’ and took off running. Anyway, I came out an hour later and decided to ditch the iPod and take my phone.
There is just something so serene about early morning that is very relaxing to me. I really think it’s the freshness of a new day. A fresh chance to do it again…a fresh dose of new mercy :)
I passed a familiar walker, his usually walking partner replaced with a beautiful stick. “No dog today?” I asked. “Unfortunately, we had to put him down” was the reply, “thanks for asking.”
There was a squirrel running off with an acorn as big as her head….scurrying away before I could snap the moment. Preparing for winter I guess. And deer…yes, they were enjoying the early morning too.
Untrustingly checking me out, but too lured in by the lush dewey grass to be thwarted by us two-legged intruders. I saw a total of three mamas with their spotted babies nearby.
“The hands bearing chains can bless well”
These were words that I wrote down when a Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) representative facilitated the last session of my church’s first Boot Camp a few weeks ago. The organization has been serving persecuted churches since 1967 and she was there to inform us about what was going on with other christians in the world.
Before the first video was even finished I was already sniffling and could barely hold back tears. In one video, based on actual events, there were some christians and non christians traveling on a bus in another country.The bus was hijacked, they were all taken off the bus (men, women and children), tied up and eventually executed. One of the christians started worshiping God and he was shot…his last fleeting thought was that he didn’t get to tell his persecutors about Jesus. Miraculously he survived and was now ministering Jesus to those who tried to kill him!!