Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Long Day

Yesterday was a very long day. I was still tired from my weekend and lost in a dream when my alarm went off. It was a long walk to the shower. I found myself asking, "Why didn't I schedule a vacation day"? The work day turned out hectic with a few minor crisis (is this an oxymoron?). When the workday was over, I picked up my wife at her office and we headed to a family member's home. What was intended as a pop in turned into a long but enjoyable conversation with one of my sister in law's. Afterwards we stopped at a restaurant where there was a wait to enjoy a noisy meal in crowded environment. After making my last stop of the day, I discovered that I had a tire on my car that was obviously leaking air. I made it home, too tired to deal with it, hoping it wouldn't be completely flat by morning. When I woke up this morning, it was nearly flat. Fortunately I had an emergency air pump and was able to get enough air into the tire in order to drive the car. My oldest son, bless him, stopped by and picked up the car to fix the tire. When I got finally got home last night it was nearly 8:30 PM, four hours since I had left work. It was a trying and long day after a busy weekend. Sometimes life is like that.

Even though my retreat seemed intense, there were a number of special moments. We had easy access to a small chapel. Most of the time incense was gently burning, filling the room with a wonderful aroma that provided a pleasing background to quiet prayer. These quieter moments were refreshing to me and a nice balance to the busier moments of speaking and interacting with the other men. Another really nice touch to the weekend occurred on Sunday morning. Each of us received a large envelope full of letters, most of them handwritten. There was a letter from my wife and others who personally knew me as well as many letters from strangers. It was touching to receive and read these letters of encouragement and promises of prayer. In this era of email and text messaging, it was refreshing to read handwritten notes. It reminded me that I used to be quite a letter writer and journal keeper until I became hooked on email and blogging. I like the personal touch of the written word although I am also happy that modern technology enables me to reach so many more with far less effort. Yes, the retreat was taxing on some levels but, in retrospect, it was worth it and I am confident the seeds planted within me will germinate and grow. The mystery now is wondering what kind of seeds were planted and into what will they grow.

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