The Beckoning Invitation

I had a sleepless night. I tossed and turned, and eventually found my way to the bathroom around 4 a.m. with the reality that my sleep for the night was finished. I tried to pray and journal. I found myself staring at an empty page. I got myself ready to meet a friend to walk at 6:30, a time once filled with morning light but now that fall approaches, it is as dark as night.

I realized on the way I had forgotten both my purse and my phone. I prayed my travel would be protected. As my friend and I embraced, I realized how much I needed her company. She has been my Santa Rosa companion as I've processed my desert life.

We found our way to the path where much of my desert processing has taken place. When we turned to enter the path I gasped, for in the distance stood an invitation from the Lord that will forever be imprinted upon my memory. The sun shone down upon the tree lined lane, as slivers of light filtered down onto the ground. My first instinct brought the question "Is this the glory cloud the Israelites experienced in their desert years? Or, was this the cloud of glory which showered the priests as they dedicated Solomon's Temple?" I don't know, but this I do celebrate: I received a beckoning invitation from my loving Heavenly Father as he met me in the midst of my emptiness and grief.

I almost ran to the spot where the slivers of light sparkled to the ground. WHen I got to it, I looked out past the trees and saw a vineyard with vines laden with grapes, perfectly ready to be harvested. The light fell on the grapes in such a way it was impossible not to acknowledge it was the handiwork of our creative Father.

Just as I stood under the light filled canopy of trees, enjoying my Father's presence, I heard a noise. It was giant trucks barreling down the beautiful path, instantly interrupting a holy moment. One by one three trucks passed us by, forcing us to the side of the path, the holy moment of communion almost stolen.

But, I looked again and yet another beam of light beckoned us on. I almost ran again to it, only to discover a farm full of lovely horses enjoying their early meal. And, yet, in the midst of that moment of pleasure, two more trucks barreled down the path.

I couldn't help but think that my loving Father was showing me something significant about our life on earth. No matter where we are, on top of a spiritual mountain or wrestling in a pit of mud, he meets us and reveals himself to us in ways that beckon us to remember: to remember our identity as his beloved children, as his chosen people, as his royal family. He never shames us for our pain or our shortcomings, but he does remind us of the battle we face continually. We have a very real enemy who desires to steal every moment of peace and pleasure we were created to dwell within for eternity.

Today, the barreling trucks didn't steal my peace. They spoke to me the question of where I would choose to put my focus: would I remember the beckoning invitation from my loving Father, or would I remember the bullying presence of trucks sent to interrupt a sacred encounter?

Before we left the path, I stood and sought to remember every visual invitation of the light filled trees, the vineyard laden with fruit and the contented horses grazing off God's creation. And, I let the presence of loud oversized heavy equipment renew my desire to seek after the good gifts my loving Father is teaching me to pursue.

What about you? Where is your Father beckoning you to a divine encounter? Where are the trucks barreling down your path of life? Where do you need to hear a word of identity to help you remember the life you were created to live?

Take a moment to breathe deeply. As you breathe in, remember....remember, who you are as God's beloved one, and as you exhale, push out any places where giant tires have tread upon your soul.