A couple of weeks ago I went to Charlottesville for the day and had one of the best days with the Lord - one of those kinds of days that I have been longing for for so long. One in which through reflection and quiet hours spent by myself, I felt that I saw things in a new light and with new understanding. And though I feel a little trepidatious opening up to the world my thoughts and prayers, I wanted to share this, since it has been an important realization along this Road that I am walking on.
This is the day that my heart has been longing for. And yet again, it is found here in Charlottesville, in my favorite garden, on a most beautiful, glorious, sublime day. All of nature is in harmony and the only noise is that of the birds, or the squirrel rummaging for food, or the chipmunks rustling in the underbrush, or the wind breezing through the leaves. There are the occasional sounds of people's voices or cars or even the train whistling through the town. But it is silent. I feel silent, at ease, at rest, and I can hear You. I can feel You Lord. I feel You in the warmth of the sun beating down upon me, or in the coolness of the breeze that wisps around me. I can feel You in my heart, reaching for me, asking me to come into Your arms and rest my lonely heart in Your loving embrace. I feel as if the journey has temporarily stopped because I have realized I am walking in circles and I need to look at the Map. I need to study the Map and realize that I cannot find my way without It. Without the Map, I am journeying nowhere, expending my energy in a quest with no end. I can explore many paths on my own, taking each twist and turn in stride, but I will never know when those paths meet the Road, if I don't look at the Map. And the other thing is, I need the share the Map. I need to share the Map with others that I encounter on my journey - no matter where they are in their own. Because for some reason their paths have intersected mine. And because of that, I want to and need to share with them the Map that I have. And maybe, as I meet these people they will help me to better understand the Map. And maybe they will help me to turn down a path I had never considered before.
I think though I oftentimes mistake people on the path as the Map. And for that, I ask for Your forgiveness Lord. That is replacing people for You. That is seeking to fill the need and loneliness in my life with others and not You. Please forgive me Lord. For that is sinful. I ask for Your mercy and forgiveness for seeking and wanting people to fill my life, when in fact it is You and You alone that I want.
And Lord, not only are you the Map, You are also my Guide. You are my Guide on this journey, the One who seeks to walk with me along the path. And when I am thinking correctly, I let You guide me. But these past few years, with a couple of months' exception, I have been walking on my own, not looking for my Guide.
But I am here now Lord. I have stopped. I need to stop, before anymore of this journey goes by. Three years God. Three years Lord Jesus have I been walking, mostly on my own, with an occasional glance at You. I have cried out many times, but rarely have I really looked for You.
And I ask again for Your forgiveness. I am a lowly, lonely sinner Lord. I am one of the worst sinners there is. The guilt and shame of my many transgressions are always before me. And it is because of them also and the shame I have over my weaknesses that I have ignored You. Please forgive me God and please remind me every day that I am forgiven only through Your grace, love, and mercy. I cannot boast of my salvation - I have done nothing to earn or deserve it!! But I can boast of You and Your great power. It is only through Your power, Your grace, Your mercy that I a sinner can walk on the paths You have laid before me and look to You as my Guide and my Map. You alone can fill that need, just as You alone can fill the loneliness that racks my heart.
I love and trust You always - Amen