by Molly Dillon / Keizer Campus Principal
The sun is back and the lake has been calling to me, reminding me that even Jesus and His disciples took a break from their work, hopped in a boat and “went to a quiet place to get some rest” (Mark 6:31). For me, that quiet place of rest means packing up my tent, my french press coffee maker, and going camping! Early morning hiking adventures, hot afternoons on the lake, and cool evenings by the campfire with family and friends round out a perfect day. No cell phone, computer, or television allowed on the packing list; they only distract from the abundant show of God’s glorious creation.
Camping is my happy place, and whenever I go I make every effort to head off to an area of solitude. Once I find my perfect spot, which is usually next to a creek or sometimes high on a ridge, I become immediately captivated by the wonders before me. I spend hours basking in the creation that surrounds me and enjoying the presence of its majestic creator. Without the usual time constraints and distractions, these quiet times have been profoundly refreshing experiences of prayer, praise and hearing from God. My only concern is having to be mindful of other campers in the area, due to my habit of talking out loud to God (and myself).
God knew that we would be a people who overcommit, over work ourselves, and over do it in many areas of our lives; therefore, He wisely commands us to rest. It’s not a suggestion, it’s paramount to our spiritual and physical health. The concept of rest is so important to Him that He also sets the example “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” Genesis 2:1-3.
Perhaps your “happy place” of finding rest and being refreshed in the Lord doesn’t include camping. If not, find wherever that place is, and leave the everyday distractions, stress, and routines of life to set your heart at rest in God’s presence (1 John 3:19). Seek the “times of refreshing” that are only found in the presence of the Lord, and take hold of His promise “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28).
Have a blessed summer, and maybe I’ll see you at the lake!
– Molly Dillon / Keizer Campus Principal