The early morning frost blanketed the silent landscape surrounding the Northwoods Conference Center. When the sun began to rise at 7:00, I stepped outside to take in the serenity. It was completely different than a normal Tuesday morning at work in Chicago.
Back in September, when I heard that the Life FOCUS group was going on a Journey To The Heart in late October, I began to seek the Lord’s will about possibly joining them. The work at Headquarters had been increasingly hectic, and a week set apart to seek the Lord and be rejuvenated in Him seemed a worthwhile opportunity. Brother Michael, Joshua and Matthew Wilkes and several other guys I knew well were part of this FOCUS group and I knew the fellowship would be rich and meaningful. I would also have the opportunity to assist Chad Paine in guiding the Journey.
However, I soon had to die to this desire. I was needed more at Headquarters than I was in Life FOCUS. Getting the permission to go would be difficult, if not selfish. Therefore, I gave my desires to the Lord and waited.
A few days before the FOCUS guys arrived, I found that it would be fine with my Department to be gone for the next week. Apprehensively, I asked Mr. Gothard about it. Surprisingly, he said to plan on it! The next morning, I called the Director of FOCUS and, after telling him I had permission to go, said he could definitely use me. Praise the Lord!
I have now been enjoying a week of much needed sleep, study, quiet-time, prayer and recreation. It is refreshing to be with a group of people who willingly share struggles, victories, insights and exhortations. It is amazing to see many deepen their love and commitment to the Lord. I’ve also enjoyed preparing for and leading some of the team meetings which helps me understand more fully what we are studying.
It has been good to come apart into a wilderness place and rest a while and seek the Lord. I could spend the rest of my life just reading, seeking and sharing the character of God as described in His Word. But life must go on and there is much work to be accomplished. By God’s grace, I will continue the Journey and carry the application of abiding in Christ into the daily schedules of the future.