I struggle with January. The cold wind and the dark days seem to function as highway bandits and rob my inner world of warmth and light. I hold no secret formula or easy path through the melancholy. I only remind myself that I have been here before.
My wife and I are only a handful of hours back home from Rome. Jet lag is real, but we are up and going. It is week nine of my sabbatical and today I am chewing on Exodus 20:16. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”
Whenever I think of the old prayer-praise, “God is good. God is great,” I am particularly drawn to a magnificent attribute of God. This specific divine characteristic is the eighth word of my sabbatical
Pure. I carried that word to Kickapoo Creek today. It has become a significant place of refuge during this sabbatical gift. I will circle back to the creek shortly. “Pure” is the seventh word of the seventh week of my sabbatical and it is squarely on my heart. Images of someone or something free of impurities, without dust, dirt, pollutants, contaminates, or sin enter my thoughts.
God knew exactly what He was doing when He ordained and carried out His plan with regard to my family. Though I struggle, even today, with understanding the why, God perfectly placed me in the family that ultimately made it possible for me to seek God, discover His gift in Christ, love God, worship God, witness to God and want to serve Him forever.
It is week 4 of my sabbatical and I am spending the day at Starved Rock State Park. It is a bit windy and chilly, but it is a good day for retreating. I bundle up, make my way north on I-39, and arrive for breakfast at the Lodge.
I was on the road early this morning. I had an appointment on the far southeast corner of Indianapolis with Sister Carol Falkner, the director of the Benedict Inn and Retreat Center, Beech Grove, Indiana. Sister Carol has served as a teacher, principal, assistant director, and prioress of the Benedictine community.