By the time you’re reading this, I’m 14 hours from home in the mountains of Colorado. My entire family — parents, kids, grandkids — traveled from Iowa to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary and my mom’s 70th birthday.
We’re staying in 7,200 square-foot home. It’s the sort of place that lets you pretend that you’re insanely rich and famous. “Dah-ling,” my little niece said in her best English accent, “We can pretend we’re millionaires!” We’ve got a hot tub, built-in sauna, six bedrooms, mountain views out every window, and a gourmet kitchen with granite countertops.
But just to keep me grounded, I packed a tent.
I won’t sleep in my tent, mind you, but when I visit my tent, I will find some rest from time to time. Let me explain:
On Thursdays back home, I gather ’round the table with ten women. Together, we’re keeping it real and “getting down” to Truth, reading Maybe God is Right after All by Cynthia Heald. In her journey with God, Heald carries a “tent” and “altar” with her at all times, like Abraham in Old Testament times.
Her tent: a cloth bag.
Her altar: a Bible, journal and devotional book, all carried inside her tent.
So I brought my own tent and altar to Colorado.
My tent is a gift from a friend who sits at that Thursday morning table. She decorated black canvas bags for each of us — pressing each one with iron-on crowns, crosses and our initials. Inside my tent, is my altar: my Bible, a new journal and my summer reading: Stone Crossings
by L.L. Barkat
I brought it all to Colorado.
Here in the opulence of this home, I shall retreat to the deck, with my tent, and find rest in God. I’ll meet Him through the simplicity of a black bag, in the shadow of His snow-frosted mountains. I will rest.
“Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. — Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)
For the rest of the week, my online time will be limited. My family and my time of rest will be my only priority. As such, I will be publishing a few old favorites. Thank you for stopping by this tucked-away tent on the World Wide Web. Your visits and comments are a part of my altar, a piece of my daily worship.
Photo: My tent and altar on a deck chair back home in Iowa last week.