The sights, the sounds, they collide with no consideration for the listener. Almost like a amateur symphony trying to work out their space in the overall song being played. In moments its noise and the loudest draws our attention. Like a marching band at a parade the collective sound begins to dissipate as they march on by. The truth is, the band did not march anywhere it stands in front of us constantly trying to grab our attention back. What is happening is we become desensitized to its appeal. The pendulum swings the other direction. It was exhilarating to hear the clamor, the clap, the boisterous roar and fierce competition of what was next, or new, or innovative, or revolutionary. Now we are looking for a box to put all the noise in. We ask questions like, who am I, what does this all mean, where is this headed, what matters most? Right in that moment someone bumps into us and says hey check this out and we are sucked right back into it. And this rhythm of wow, not that interesting, who am I continues on.

Like a wanderer in the desert looking for water our body, mind, and soul are parched. Then we wander into the shade and sit down. We take off all that we are carrying and lean our weight on the item that keeps us shaded. We close our eyes. We are fully there. Our mind is at rest. We are not searching any longer, we are resting and leaning our weight on the thing that has allowed us to find rest from the elements. In that place we are free. We are no longer striving, or fighting, or pushing our way into the noise. We are resting in gratitude on the thing that brings us hope. In the shade we find out who we truly are.

All of sudden someone approaches us. The angst, desire, focus, determination, and drive in their eyes looks exhausting. They are talking a lot, grasping for any word that will bring them peace. They ask questions but don't wait for the answer. Finally after exhausting all of their energy they stare into your eyes. You say, sit down. You are tired.

They look back at you and drag their energy forward, mustering every once of charisma, charm, and inspiration only to find you looking back at them and saying. Sit down, we will chat when you are ready.

Over the course of many days you sit with them and they speak to your soul. They say things that awaken you. It is not like the other times when someone said something and you jumped up and starting running toward it. It is different. You sit back, you lean on the same tree they are leaning on and you breathe. You fully experience the love, grace, mercy, and beauty of the shade. In that moment the wanderer, you, find your home.

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The above excerpt is a recap of my weekend. I attended a conference byNetwork 220 called Freedom in Christ: Living the Life of Liberty where John Lynch, Frank Friedmann, and Andrew Farley taught. To me it was like sitting in the shade and listening to someone that knew what life was really supposed to be like and willingly waiting until I was ready to hear it. The accessibility, vulnerability, and grace of each of these men were life giving. They lean against the cross of calvary and there they meet wanderers of every kind. After all that is what it is all about.