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Thoughts From A Threshold
30,000 feet in the air
Two weeks ago I slipped away for a weekend retreat with my mastermind group. Though we meet regularly, we had not ever retreated together until a couple of weeks ago. The weekend was worth every effort it took to make it happen—and it took considerable effort. Coordinating 5 women’s schedules who are all juggling 852 things any given week, is no small feat, but the consensus as we made our way home, was that it was a fruitful weekend for us all, and should be repeated annually. Of course I am in agreement. If you know me at all, you know that for the last 10 years, my work is Retreat.1
The AirBnb we chose was visually stunning and creatively inspiring. Beauty and curiosity around every nook and cranny. I don’t know how many times I turned a corner I’d just walked past, only to spot something I’d missed the other three times I’d walked by it. It reminded me of how I have that same experience when reading Scripture—how new insights and discoveries are always surfacing from well-worn, familiar passages. I’m convinced this is what it means when we say that the Word is “living and active”(Hebrews 4:12).
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This also reminds me of how a similar kind of sudden illumination happens in our daily life too. We can be looking past things and living through the questions only to discover one day, as if for the first time, we understand something we had previously missed. Sometimes, we uncover a truth that’s been hidden on plain sight, other times we realize we’ve outgrown something seemingly overnight—not unlike the way children who grow overnight require a new wardrobe without warning. Sometimes, these revelations are quiet, just for our personal edification. Other times these discoveries are for sharing. Distinguishing one from the other is true work, and work worth doing for our own soul and for the sake of others. I cringe over the times I have shared without taking the full time to do this work. I have regrets in this and take greater care in my own discernment these days.
One of the many gifts of a Mastermind group is that because we are invested in each other, we can be a safe and helpful sounding board to process the inner rumblings out loud. We trust each other to give helpful feedback, to speak Truth to one another and to help each other see what perhaps we’ve been walking past for months without truly seeing it.
Our simple retreat offered room to do this work and I discovered that I am once again at a threshold with choices to make and invitations to receive or reject. I didn’t see it before arriving on retreat, but as I packed my things to go home, and as I prepared for a second trip I’d be taking a few short days later, I knew in my bones that I was (I am) indeed in an in-between space.
I’m typing this from 30,000 feet in the air on the way home from a second trip in two weeks. It’s sometime in the middle of the night, as I’m crossing time zones, and it will be well after 2AM when I finally find my way to my own bed. I don’t normally travel 2 weekends in a row but both of these trips felt like holy invitations for different reasons. If I have learned anything from making Retreat my work, it is at the very least, that it is always worth it to say yes to intentional time with God.
If you’re feeling tangled up inside, or seeking clarity, or direction, or if you just need to hear yourself think a whole thought without being interrupted, I want to encourage you to slip away for a bit. It doesn’t have to be long to be fruitful. You might discover something that’s been in front of you all along. You might realize that you’re at a threshold you didn’t anticipate. Or that you did, but didn’t know how to face it.
Whatever God does with the time away, I believe that you will be met with His kindness.
Art is long, life short, judgment difficult, opportunity transient. To act is easy, to think is hard; to act according to our thought is troublesome. Every beginning is cheerful: the threshold is the place of expectation.
~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Said with a wink to Ken, whose work is just “Beach.” (Subtle Barbie movie reference.)