“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your strength and with all your mind” (Luke 10:27).
Do you sometimes spend extended time with Jesus, but there are no goose bumps?
That’s what happened with me a couple of weeks ago in Sisters, Oregon at Long Hollow Ranch—580 acres, an empty cottage, and six blank calendar pages to myself.
- To my chagrin, the first day, my laptop fell onto the brick floor that flanked the wood stove in the cottage. I spent the next day in town getting the hard drive replaced. Looking for a silver lining, I realized later that the new one was stronger and much faster than the original. I got an unexpected upgrade in the process.
- I expected blue skies and long hikes with Jesus. What I got instead were gray skies, whirling winds, and snow. When I didn’t get the weather I asked for, I shifted into the kid room in my head. Snooooow!
- I went on hikes. But wet and muddy trails cut them short. I determined to thank Elohim, our Creator, for the quiet, open expanse that lay clear ahead, even though I wanted to hustle inside out of the cold.
- I hung out with Co-Co (Comforter and Counselor) one-on-one, reflected, journaled, painted, drew, worshiped, and took pictures of the horses. But I’m going to come clean: I didn’t gets goose bumps or have a saccharine-sweet time. In fact, I felt guilty that my head wanted to lead out. My spirit came short of soaring. But with hindsight, I see the images, journal entries, and songs I created as moments when I worshiped God with all my mind. Even though I wasn’t feeling on the upswing in my emotions, God met me there.
- I worked on my first book, a manuscript on self-forgiveness. Spending the week without distraction allowed me to hear my own thoughts, and those the Holy Spirit quietly spoke, and to write them down.
- While there, I felt God tell me to step back from one ministry, to make room for two others calling me deeper into their intercessory communities. With hindsight, I felt that time for introspection, and decision to step back from that ministry, blankified much-needed real estate in my planner. By simplifying, once I returned to my regular routine, I was able to hit my stride and accomplish more.
How do you shift into your spirit when your mind wants to take the lead? What benefits come from those times?