In some ways life has been tough over the last few months. Although I am very aware compared to some others, my life has been relatively easy. Being away so much of the last few months, feeling very tired, not knowing what I should be doing etc. etc. all add up.
So much as I could have spent today shopping, I didn't (sorry Karen, that means no diamonds!), instead I took time out to spend time with God. Something I have tried to do in recent years is to have a "quiet day" (albeit usually only 4-6 hours) once a term. But with being away etc. not really having the time, as when home I need to try and do all the things I normally do but in a shorter time I was feeling more and more that I needed to really get one in. So what to do in a foreign city with no car? So I decide I would visit the Cathedral in Seattle, not like UK ones that are tourist attractions, but at least it would more than probably be open and I could be quiet. Also if that did not work out there was a park close by. I decided to walk there (very British, not at all American!) which in itself was interesting, walking through different parts of Seattle, some a bit run down contrast with the last road with larger houses although not millionaire (or anything like), it was a contrast.
I spent a great time in the Cathedral, reading, praying, listening to worship, as well as a couple of talks. Both from New Wine 2007 (yes we really have been going that long!), the first "Consider the Poor" by David Ruis, and it reminded me of where my heart is on this journey I have been on for the last 6 years, which start around that time. I love Street Pastoring, getting out and meeting those in need. I am involved with our Prison team, although not sure this is where I should be long term, it is for now.
The second talk was "Intimacy with God" by Rev Martin Saxby (no relation to my brother-in-law), and I was struck by how far I had come in the last 6 years. When I originally went to the talk I felt very distant from God, really struggling spiritually, and here I am 6 years on, an what I want more than anything is to spend more time with God :-) I love reading my bible (I can recommend Bible in One Year), I want to have my quiet days, and wish I had time for more. I want to do more for God, although I wish I knew what. In some ways I wish I could afford to give up work and just do things for him.
So having spend most of this week, really not wanting to be here, not sure I really wanted to carry on with my job, I now feel totally different having spent some intimate time with my best friend (God). I didn't want to leave the Cathedral, but as (unusually for a Cathedral) there was going to be a funeral I thought I had better! I feel refreshed and in a much better place. I still don't know what I should be doing for God! but I am happy he has it in hand. I can see he has been working a lot on me for the last 6 years, and also feel that the time is soon, as it feels like the close of a phase. Although I am aware God still has more work to do with me! as Martin Saxby says in his talk (quoting someone else), "God has given you your ministry, not for what you can do for Him, but for what he can do in you"
Tomorrow I am also spending time with God :) I am going to a church with someone I know over here. He used to work with me at Microsoft in the UK, and now works for them in the US. He wife is on a Women's Retreat, so we may also hang out a bit as well.
Spending time with God is great, perhaps I should go away more often, only kidding Karen!