When I was eleven, my dad bought two acres of land from my uncle, family land in Central High, Oklahoma. It’s where I would spend the next seven years of my life.
I would often take walks on the larger section of family land our two acres bordered. My favorite place to visit was an old washed out section, a drainage ditch that helped fill the pond for our cows. It looked like a miniature canyon with walls reaching well over my head. It was secluded from the whole world.
In that isolation I could imagine what it was like when Moses ran away to the desert. I could imagine what Jesus meant when He went by Himself to meditate and pray. I could imagine what 40 days in the wilderness was like.
I am something of a hybernator. I like to have my alone time. If I’m around people too much my anxiety gets too high. I crave a secluded place. That is not always good. Many times I spend my seclusion watching Netflix. Sometimes I crave alone time so I can be with God.
That low, washed-out drainage ditch brought me to the highest of places, the elevations of heaven.
The same could be said of my more recent journey. It brought me to the lowest of lows in February 2018.
I could not walk around the block without taking a breathing treatment. I could not talk to neighbors without getting winded. I could not stand for people to knock on my door to check on me. I could not attend church. I spent weeks away from work. I could not see my daughters. I could not be around others. I could not stand for more than a minute. I lived in bed and lived off pizza delivery.
I was alone.
But by the end of March I found a new path that led me to healing.
I guess, in a way, everyone has to find their own way to a drainage ditch. A place where they are alone. With God.
I have learned something this past week. I enjoy my walks and my bike rides much more when I don’t have my earbuds in, when I’m not listening to music, when only nature and my surroundings fill my ears.
There is term for this, “mindfulness.” I don’t know if that is an accurate description.
For me it means listening to something other than music. I sometimes use music to drown out the voices. But those conversations were a necessary part of my journey.
I need to meditate. I need to be mindful, of God.
And I still need to have these three conversations.
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap – 1 Samuel 2:8a NIV