by Annette Bridges. ©2009. All rights reserved.
“All I need is a room with a view,” I told my husband, as we explored locations for celebrating our 28th wedding anniversary. The past few months had been filled with one “unexpected” or “unwanted” situation after another. Mostly, I longed for a break from all the commotion and wanted time to focus only on my marriage.
As we drove the narrow, winding road up the wooded mountain, I had no doubt that I was headed to a secluded, romantic hideaway. Then, suddenly, we reached the top, and what would become my very own Tuscan villa for the next three nights came into view. The serene atmosphere that embraced me as I walked to the front door assured me I was right where I needed to be.
The balcony view from our room provided a panorama of sky, hills, trees and lake. And almost immediately, a broader perspective took shape in my mind, helping me to see beyond challenges and dilemmas waiting at home to be solved.
I was again reminded of the prayer advice Jesus gave when he said, “Enter into thy closet.” (Matthew 6:6) I’ve thought about this many times when I’ve felt the need to get away from whatever was troubling me in order to pray, meditate and be quiet. My closet has taken many forms through the years — lying on the beach, fishing in a mountaintop lake, walking around our farm, drinking mochas at Starbucks or even shutting my eyes for a few moments in the midst of a busy day. This time my closet was sitting on an Oklahoma hillside!
Jesus’ next piece of advice to us is to “shut the door behind you” before we begin to pray. The door shut on any worries and concerns the moment I walked onto our balcony. The wide landscape that filled my gaze broke the spell that was hypnotizing me into a state of uneasiness. I knew a resurrection of my peace of mind was imminent. I was no longer preoccupied with tomorrow or next week but focused only on the present moment and the beauty, calm and love that was with me in that moment.
Now that I’m home, once again facing the “unwanted” stuff, I am trying to hang on to the peace of mind I felt on my Oklahoma mountain.
With the Easter season upon me, I’ve been wondering if the disciples were searching for peace of mind when they went fishing after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Perhaps they were trying to make sense of everything they had experienced and witnessed. Perhaps they were unsure of what they needed to do next with their lives.
Jesus prepared breakfast for them, and it seems that what Jesus told them at this last meal on the shores of the Galilean Sea (John, Chapter 21) — along with everything they had witnessed and were yet to witness with Jesus’ ascension — resulted in their spiritual awakening. This awakening transformed any doubts, pride and grief into clarity, humility and repentance. And their newfound understanding and commitment changed their lives and the world forever.
I’ve started to realize the importance of a morning meal — the morning communion with our Father-Mother God — which provides spiritual nourishment and direction for our day. Certainly, the delicious breakfast each morning on our Oklahoma hillside was filling and satisfying as we prepared for our day’s activities. But even more invigorating and inspiring was the time my husband and I spent each morning studying our Bible lesson together.
The Psalmist promised, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalms 119:105)
I’m learning that when disappointments, fearful speculations, regrets, complaints or any of life’s miseries or pressures threatens to bury us into a tomb of despair, there is a spiritual view that will show us the way up, out and onward. There is no problem too large or daunting for divine power to remove. And this spiritual view is what we can count on in any situation — wherever we are — to inspire, encourage, reassure and guide us along our way.
I can’t always escape to that “room with a view.” Perhaps you can’t either. But we can rest assured that God’s point of view is available to us 24/7, that His wisdom will lead us to what’s good for us, and that He will give us the strength and ability we need to tackle anything coming at us.
(For those curious or interested: www.lagovistabedandbreakfast.com)