I am writing this from a (surprise!) coffee shop (Green to Bean Coffee Roasters) in Hiawassee, Georgia. Thanks to the kindness of some friends in Bradenton, who provided the place, and of the congregation of Covenant Church in Oviedo, who granted the time away, and to our daughter in Lafayette, GA, who is watching our ten year-old son, Barb and I have been able to retreat to the mountains for a few precious days.
We have retreated to a bed and breakfast which sits on the edge of a small lake (or large pond – I’ve not decided) in a cove surrounded by mountains covered in autumn’s last attempt at color. We resolved on our way here to do nothing. And so far, apart from some ‘rum-running’ Sunday night, we’ve been largely successful. We have read, slept, talked, reflected, and ‘subsisted’ (fattening-ly so!) on two large meals a day. It’s been a lovely gift.
We begin the retrace of our steps tomorrow and jump back into life on Friday.
Rest is always a temporary respite, but is absolutely necessary (especially for those with a six, and sometimes seven, day work rhythm). “Come away and rest,” Jesus said at least once to his exhausted disciples, and I have been glad, in this instance, to heed him.
So, thank you to those who have enabled this for us. We both hope we are better for it.
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A note about the ‘rum-running’ is in order. I fantasize the following text message conversation between Paul and his young disciple Timothy, who is in Hiawassee, Georgia for a preaching engagement. Timothy complains to Paul of a stomach ailment, and the great Apostle responds here as he did in the first century. (1 Timothy 5:23)
Paul: Use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.
Timothy: I can’t.
Timothy: The grocery store here won’t sell it to me.
Paul: Why not?
Timothy: The sign says, “No wine or beer sales on Sunday.”
Paul: You’re kidding, right?
Paul: Did you try the next county over?
Timothy: It’s in North Carolina.
Paul: That should work.
Timothy: k. Thx.
So that is what we did. 🙂