I journeyed to Vermont this weekend for a time of refreshing with several friends from my church. We sanctuaried at the home of James Hartness, former governor of Vermont and a well-known inventor during the Industrial Revolution.
I am grateful for the time away and for the words which Jesus spoke to my heart. It was not the weekend I planned. Yet somewhere around Saturday lunchtime I realized, that was as it should be.
While my room was very comfortable I had a hard time sleeping. Nightmares have become a normal part of my evening activities these last weeks. I expect they will probably end this week. But my refreshing weekend was not exempt from them.
I was also hoping to find some quiet spaces in which to meditate.
I looked upstairs.
Then I looked downstairs. I found lots of bedrooms and nooks and crannies but no great prayer chairs.
I did find an awesome built-in by the fireplace in the main room. So did everyone else. We practically had to sign up for its use. So we shared. I managed to sneak out of breakfast early on Sunday to get a few minutes of meditation in it…. It was so peaceful!
But the weekend wasn’t about quiet reflection. It was about active self-discovery within a group of people. I realized this as I was laying on a lumpy sofa in a chilly hallway complaining to the Lord about how hard it was to get away and be by myself.
I heard the Lord say, “That’s not why I sent you here. Get up and take a walk.”
So I did. As I wandered the neighborhood God focused me in on the buildings I was passing by. Built into the steep hills of the Green Mountains these turn-of-the-century homes were immense feats architecture.
It was obvious to me that the men and women who conceived these places were both artists and engineers. To take the side of a mountain and make it into a home fit for a king, now that takes a gifted mind!
“Who were they?” The Lord asked me as I walked.
“I don’t know Lord. They certainly had some talent.” I replied.
“They also had help.” God came back.
“Do not think for one minute the men and women who lived in these homes accomplished all they did without help. They had ideas that were beyond them. They faced challenges that were beyond them. But they gathered about themselves communities they could trust and they overcame.” The Lord finished.
I thought about that as I came in out of the snowy spring air. I thought about it as I sat with my brothers and sisters. This was a weekend of sharing challenges and dreams. It was a time of immersing our selves in the Lord in a place which had known greatness before our time.
Who were the people who had inhabited this place before us? They were folks not so different from us, people of dreams and challenges. They chose to face them together. In that they accomplished something great.
Someday people will ask of my circle “Who were they?” the answer to the question will largely depend on how we work together to accomplish the dreams God has put within our hearts. I wonder what legacy we shall leave.