Thoughts on life from Pat Oaks
Every day some orders of Monks have Morning, Noon and Evening prayers. In the Evening they call it Compline. It is meant to be said or chanted right before going to bed, so that the last thing you do before lying down to sleep is pray to the Father.
For some time now, we have been doing morning prayers together and Compline in the evening. As I drifted off to sleep last night, I did my own Compline. I will attempt to recreate that after I explain my day.
As I told you in my last blog, we are at Appalachian Christian Camp in Unicoi, TN this week. Every day is a new adventure. We started on Wednesday and it is now Saturday...our last day of adventures. After breakfast and morning prayers and devotionas, we head to a trail head somewhere and walk. Yesterday was a tad different.
It has been absolutely perfect weather for hiking. Yesterday was no exception, but it started out with rain. We were supposed to do the zip line before leaving for our hike, but woke to rain, so were afraid not only the zip line would be cancelled but the hike as well.
Thankfully, the rain stopped about 10, so Aaron, our camp manager, said that the zip line was still on!
Another explanation of the day goes back 10 years. My grandson, Cal, who was about 12 at the time, wanted to ride the zip line but was scared. I said I would go first and show him there was nothing for which he needed to be afraid! I was 70 years old at the time. I was terrified! At that time, you had to climb straight up a telephone pole! Now they have stairs and a much larger platform at the top.
Aaron told me after I did it ten years ago, that I had to come back in ten years to keep my record as the oldest person to do the zip line. He arranged for it to happen! Jason drove all the way from Knoxville to record it. He works for Community Television in Knoxville, and is going to air it!
Three people at a time can go on this course, so Jason and John thomas went at the same time. Tommy also went. And of course I went. Actually, I was the first to go. Jason and Tommy were right behind me. Once more, I was terrified, but I did it! (Jason went twice so he could go with his brother.)
Back to Compline now. Here is my own personal Compline for last night.
Lord, you have always given strength for the day, and though I am weak, today I believe.
Lord, you have always given joy for the day, and though I am not always joyful, today I believe.
Lord, you have always given wisdom for the day, and though I am not wise, today I believe.
Lord, you have always given challenges for the day and though I sometimes don't think I can face them, today I believe.
Lord, you have had a zip line waiting for me to soar through the air, and though I did not think I could do it, today I believe.
Yesterday was one of those days that you wish would never end. We spent the day doing things we love with people we love. We did a zip line, we hiked (some went 8 miles, some went 4), we ate together and we laughed and worshipped together! What a day!
Thank you to all those who made this day happen.
Aaron, Julie, Sandy and Audrey
Tommy, John thomas and Jason
Steve and Cindy, Zeke and Ki
Charlie and Jane,
Kayley and Ana
Lori and Scott
The Compline sometimes ends by saying, "I will lie down this night with Christ and He will lie down with me." Yesterday was one of those days that just felt anointed from sunup till sundown and beyond. I felt the presence of my Lord like never before. If nothing else, I am coming away from this retreat with a renewed zeal to let HIM be in charge of all my days.
Click here to watch me zip!
My favorite season is here. I want to slow it down. I want to hang on to every day as long as possible. Maybe that's why I have trouble sleeping at night! Maybe heaven will be one continuous month....OCTOBER.
Tommy decided to put together a walking week. He has talked about it for years, and it finally came to fruition. We are staying at Appalachian Christian Camp in Unicoi, Tennessee with some friends. Everyday we get up, have devotions together, and go on a long hike. We come back in the evening, have supper together, devotions again, then some play board games. Tommy and I fall into bed, exhausted.
Tommy has been having back problems, so is wearing a back belt. Yesterday was our first day, so we hiked The Roan, as we call it - Roan Mountain. It's pretty much straight up. The rest of the gang went a lot further than we did, but at least we made it part of the way. My cousin Judy had bought us hiking sticks several years ago, and we bought 3 more so we would each have two. What a difference that makes! I am unstable on level ground anymore, much less a steep mountain path!
I didn't see many more (if any) people my age on the path, so I spent a lot of time thanking God that I was able to hike at all! I would not have missed the beauty of yesterday if there was any way I could make it...and I did. WE did.
Today we are doing another grueling hike to Laurel Fork Falls. I will go as far as I can, and hopefully will make it all the way to the falls. It's about a 5 mile round trip, as was yesterday's hike.
I am writing this to encourage all of you to try and make dreams come true. A hiking week has been a dream of Tommy's for many years. It might have been nice had it happened before I turned 80 and he hurt his hip, but we are doing it! Many would say they were too old. Many would say they don't have time. Many would say all the planning (food ) was just too much.
Looking back at all the plans and dreams that have come to pass in the lives of Tommy and me and John boy and Jason, I can see what a difference it has made. Tommy is a firm believer in putting stuff on the calendar that we want to see happen. To say "I don't have time" is not a reason. If you put it on the calendar, it will happen, unless something drastic happens. Most of the time though, our calendar plans have happened.
We often include others in those plans, as we did this weekend. I always wonder, when we plan an outing like this, if something will happen to make a difference in all our lives. I can honestly say that most of the time it does. Whether it is an incident that happens or something someone says, I look back and reflect at how my life has changed because of the adventures Tommy has planned.
Honestly, if it were up to me, I would stay home with a good book. I am SO glad it isn't up to me. I am so thankful I married a man who, like Jesus, says "follow me." Life has been so much more exciting!
To my readers: I have been bogging my writing assignments from a book John boy got me called 642 Things to Write About. Here is another assignment....
"You swallowed your pride and did something you didn't want to do. Your friend wants to know why. The two of you are driving around an almost full parking garage looking for space for the friend's oversize pick-up. Write the scene."
OK! If you really want to hear this, I'll tell you!
Cal (my grandson) and I were at the church camp in Unicoi He wanted to ride the zip line. He was about 12 or 13 at the time. He was scared. I told him it was a piece of cake and I, Prisha..(what he calls me) would go first. I really did not want to. I was afraid I weighed too much and would snap the wire! I was afraid if I did make it to the platform, I would chicken out. I had to climb a telephone pole to a tiny platform then jump.
Finally I swallowed my pride, went up the pole and jumped! It was exciting and scary and amazing, but most of all I was proud that I did it. I was 70 years old. I wanted Cal to experience the thrill of a zip line, but he was still too scared!
Now, Babe, pull into the next parking space or I am going to have to use a zip line to get out of this truck!
p.s. I turned 80 last week so in order to keep my record as the oldest person to ride the zip line at camp, I need to go back and do it again!