It’s been a glorious week of vacation. Any vacation for me is typically glorious because I love to travel just about anywhere. But the past couple of days Greg and I traveled to a place cell signals couldn’t find us. No emails. No text messages. No phone calls. No internet. No television. There was a daily newspaper so we had a simple connection to the outside world. And our families had the phone number where we staying just in case. They actually had a phone room with pay phones – not something you see much anymore.
We were at Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington State. What the park ranger said would happen, happened to us. He said he loves to watch people arrive to Paradise Lodge and they are all antsy and jittery as they try and figure out what to do with themselves (since they can’t keep looking at their cell phones because no new information has arrived on it since the last time they looked). As the days go by, they plop down on the sofas in the lobby and by the third day they are taking naps and just being as if they are more comfortable in their skin.
That’s the beauty of “unplugging” from technology. You don’t really have another choice but to be present to your current setting. You only have your imagination and your day dreams to distract you. Otherwise you can completely connect to your surroundings. I had forgotten how restful to my soul that was. Especially for someone like me that loves connecting to people and who loves staying busy. At one point Greg and I hiked up about 45 minutes into snow and found a big rock we hiked to and just sat. For hours. Seriously. When is the last time you just sat for a couple of hours and really looked around? Noticing every detail. We watched clouds blow over us. We looked for mountain goats and marmots. Just scanning the scenery over and over in 360 degrees never got old. It was so beautiful. And we just talked. And sometimes we sat in silence.
And at some point I realized, I was completely relaxed and very comfortable in my skin. Well, other than the sunburn I suffered on the first day- that wasn’t so comfortable. but spiritually speaking, all was well. And it truly took about 2 1/2 days before I got there.
I think that is one of the reasons we hear the phrase “people are spiritual but not religious these days.” What does that really mean? They may have given up on church but their I think it means that all people are longing for something deep within themselves. That is our soul. It’s part of our inner selves. No matter how busy we keep ourselves occupied our soul cries out for care. Those of us that try to be religious, specifically Christian, work on taking care of our souls on a regular basis. I do this daily and weekly as a disciple of Jesus. But man was I reminded of how hard it is to tend the deepest parts of our soul. It takes time and it takes isolation. Both of those are difficult to corral in our Western culture.
I’m thankful for the reminder. I’m thankful for the time with my husband. I’m thankful for the time with the deepest part of my soul. And I will not wait so long to return. Maybe not to Mt. Rainier, but there are other rocks I can sit on probably a lot closer to home. I have every intention of finding one.
Grace and Peace,