This is the first post in a four part series. To read the other posts click on the link:
I have had this trip planned for less than a month. I am going to Laity Lodge for a writer’s retreat. I won the retreat, which was a special bonus. The day is Sept. 29, 2011: the 17th anniversary of my father’s death. I usually never forget this date. I have thought about it several times in the past couple of weeks. But today, I am so busy and so full of hope that it doesn’t cross my mind. If my dad were here, he would tell me not to dwell on the date. “It’s just another day,” would be his words.
I am busy packing, and making sure that I have the kids situated. I am also going to have lunch with a very dear friend on the way. We haven’t been able to have a good visit, face to face in over a year. We are long overdue. She calls and we talk. I am way behind schedule with packing. “Quit talking and finish packing!” she tells me. I do as I am told.
I get on the road and as I travel, I see yellow grass on the side of the highway; evidence of the drought that has plagued Central Texas for the past year. Finally, I arrive in her city, where we have a long, late lunch. We have a very valuable visit. But, it comes to an end and before I get back on I-10, I stop at the grocery store to buy a notebook and some batteries for my camera. There are clouds in the sky. This is rare in these parts. The smell of rain is in the air. I see a sprinkle or two on my windshield.
Many times throughout the drought, I have thought about water being the symbol of the Holy Spirit. With us having no rain, it is almost symbolic of a dryness of our spirits. This is something that we have to fight against. But on this special day, when I am on my way to a much needed retreat, I see rain threatening. I feel that it is symbolic of a breakthrough: the thirst of my spirit is about to be satisfied. When I exit the store, I see a hard, downpour. It is the first time that I have seen this sight in almost a year. This is a great sign. People are crowding around the entrance to the store, as if not knowing what to do. They are putting things over their heads in an effort not to get wet. I am wondering, what are these people doing? How long have we been praying for rain? I don’t care how wet I get, I am going to walk in it and be thankful.
I am reminded of a passage in Priscilla Shirer’s book, One in a Million, given to me by a friend and sister in Christ. In it, Priscilla shares a time in which she was jogging and got caught in the rain, and raced home so she wouldn’t get very wet. She said that she felt God telling her that people pray for rain, but when they get it, they don’t want to get wet. I try to keep from being in that group. But only because of what I learned from Priscilla.
|Rolling Hills were part of the scenery of my trip.|
I start traveling on to Leakey, Texas and the rain stops. The sun is out for the rest of the trip. The sky is a beautiful blue and the roadside reveals a rocky topography. I am in the heart of the hill country now, traveling up and down the rolling hills, out in the middle of nowhere.
|On the dirt road leading to Laity Lodge|
|The road leads into the river.|
|The river has a hard bottom.|
|We had to drive through the river to get to Laity Lodge.|
|Water splashes as our cars rumble through the river.|
I arrive at the destination. I turn in and follow my roadmap and signs on the dirt road, up and down the rolling hills, surrounded by trees. Then, I drive my car through a very shallow river with a hard bottom, back onto the dirt road leading to Laity Lodge. I am full of hopefulness as I park the car.
|Arrival at the destination. I am soooo full of hope.|
To read the next article in this series about Laity Lodge, go here.
Linking this post up with LL. Barkat at Seedlings in Stone.
Linking up with Laura Boggess at Playdates At the Wellspring
Copyright 2011 by Kathy Robbins