Sunday, September 10, 2006
Taking time to journal
We set out after breakfast, stopping on the way only to take a picture in a tea plantation. Less than 90 minutes after leaving home, we were slap-dash in the middle of a rainforest. The road leading to the retreat center where we were going had hundreds of butterflies. It felt like they were welcoming us!
I opened the safari hatch to experience the smells and sounds of the forest even as we were driving... We stopped to take pictures of the butterflies (in my favorite children's book, The BFG, the giant calls them butteryflies!), to wave at children, to spot blue-faced monkeys in the trees... We pulled into Rondo Retreat with its immaculate gardens, booked a table for lunch, and headed into the forest...
We hadn't walked too long before I spotted it: A black-and-white-casqued hornbill! Then there was another, a female. And soon, they seemed to be everywhere! These birds are incredible. You hear them fly, their wings cutting through the air with heavy whooshes! Then you see the black and white of their bodies. And then, the beak. (Click on the picture to find a photo of the hornbill.)
And we saw more blue-faced monkeys and collobus monkeys. The visitors were as excited as I was about simply seeing God's incredible handiwork and were running down the path to get better shots of the monkeys.
We stopped to look at miniscule red mushrooms, blueish-green catterpillars, to smell the big, creamy moonflowers... We were in paradise, and enjoying every moment of it! "Can't we just keep walking?" Josh asked when I suggested that we turn back for lunch. I think we all wanted to do just that. Just keep walking. Complete the 4-hour circuit we were on. But we were also hungry, and the M&Ms & Oreos they had packed wasn't quite going to cut it!
After lunch, we had our coffee out on the beautiful lawn, and then it started raining. (It's a rainforest. It rains every afternoon.) We found dry land on a patio, but soon all went our own ways. Jen and I found refuge in the little chapel that overlooks the forest, where I filled the last pages of my current journal.
It was SUCH a good time of simply hanging out with God, of praying and hearing Him speak to my heart, of being amazed at how he confirmed my prayers right away through Scripture...
Too soon, it was time to make the journey back to Eldoret, over the bumpy roads, ditching potholes, having wonderful conversation (when the road wasn't toooooo bumpy) about what God is teaching us and how He's challenging us. And about balance. The visitors were joking about "Deep thoughts by Adele..." when we talked about BALANCE. I honestly don't believe God has called us to live a balanced life. He calls us to live a radical life. A Spirit-driven life. A life that sometimes includes feeling like we have NO idea what we're doing, but we're doing it anyway, because His love compels us to do so.
Was it a good day? You bet it was! In fact, I wish I could escape to this beautiful refuge more often to sit at Jesus' feet and hear His voice. All I need is one or two people to hop in my car and I'll go. As long as they, too, are willing to brake for butteryflies.