This week I've been involved in a "study retreat" with my wife, Rebekah. We headed to the Appalachian Mountains to do some restoration work, spiritually and mentally (although I'm not sure any more where one ends and the other begins!).
It's been a great week, and we capped it off today by driving the Blue Ridge Parkway for 75 miles. The experience was a wonder overload! We enjoyed sunshine, rain, misty views, clear views, and everything in between.
At first I was disappointed by the rain and clouds. But then, stopping at our first overlook, I realized I was able to see things in the muted light that I would have missed in the stark contrast of bright sun and shadow. A clear day can erase definition off the face of the mountain, so all you can see is a wash of light.
I could see layers and depth through the light drizzle. I could appreciate the "blue" of the blue ridge. I was able to witness a more nuanced Appalachia than I ever had before.
I was, to be honest, blessed by what I had not wanted to see.
Once again, God used my eyes and my ability to observe, to teach me something about the spiritual life. My retreat wasn't over today - it has really just got going.
Peace - always - DEREK