I will be “out of pocket” for the next few days. I am headed to Tuscaloosa, Alabama on business. (I never thought I’d say that in my life! ME on a business trip! Hah!)
ANYway. It would appear that the trip isn’t just about business though…which is the part I am most concerned with, actually. I was SUPPOSED to go last week. But, things didn’t work out that way and now I am going up this week. In the natural, it was because of deadlines. In the spiritual, it was because I had to fall flat on my face for three days to be prepped first.
There are no direct flights into Tuscaloosa. I have to fly into the Birmingham Airport and be driven an hour West to Tuscaloosa. There are also no direct flights from New Orleans to Birmingham, so I will spend approximately 2 hours in the Memphis Airport each way. All told I will have somewhere around 8 hours of captive time (both flying and waiting) over the next 3 days. I am thinking there is a plan for that, as well.
As I was packing this evening, I felt a strong sense from the Lord that I not only needed to go with expectancy that He would meet me in the down time as I travel, but that I needed to be ultra purposeful about it. I could easily sit and do little more than get lost in my thoughts for 2 hours in an airport. I can be perfectly content in idleness. But the sense I got from the Lord was that this was not what He desired. I also got the clear message that I needed to scrap my plan to bring my lap top.
I was really excited about the prospect of traveling with my new(ish) WiFi ‘puter. I looked forward to picking up signals at the airport and in the hotel and being able to check my e-mail and maybe even post from a “foreign” location. But, it would appear that is not going to be the case.
I have to confess, this point has my flesh screaming. I’m thinking, if the Lord does meet me in a powerful way while I am gone, I could chronicle it and type up the mother of all posts. But, I realize that an awesome post is probably not the reason the Lord wants to take me away from everything for a few days.
As I step on to the plane, I will be leaving a lot behind…and I truly hope I can leave it behind me while I am away. I will not just be leaving my computer and my home and my family, I will be leaving many of the hard things that have been such a distraction lately. For the better part of three days I won’t have to deal with the apartment that still doesn’t look like my apartment, random and disturbing calls from family members, disconnectedness from church friends, or the continued weirdness at work. And in their place, I will set my face toward the Lord and what He has for me both en route to and in Tuscaloosa. I will also begin a fast of sorts.
I gave up regular TV about 2 years ago, but still occasionally watch movies in the evenings. That will stop. There will be no surfing entertainment news sites or listening to secular music. In their place, I will read the Word or other scripturally meaty things and listen to worship music or sermons. I am also not going to weigh myself for a month so that I am not tempted to gauge my dedication to the dieting by the rising or falling numbers on the scale. The purpose of all of this is to attempt to breathe as much God-saturated air as possible, and crowd out all else that distracts or clouds my thoughts or tempts me…and truly be able to feed on the faithfulness of the Lord. (That thought…feeding on faithfulness…still “gets” me all these hours later!)
It is my hope that the Lord will honor my heart and my efforts and do amazing things in and through this time that is being set aside.
“See” you in a few days…