little islands

In the fall of 1999 a friend invited me to go camping with him. Camping on Santa Barbara Island. It was a five hour boat trip from the port to the dock, and it was a trip which put me into a whole different world, one where the sound was not of traffic, or hammering, or the incidental and constant noises of neighbors but rather sea lions, and sea gulls, and the waves crashing against the rocks.

This was my first quarter in seminary and it did wonders for my soul as I pressed on in learning about God.

About once a year since then we’ve gone camping. Not again on Santa Barbara Island but on the other islands that make up the Channel Islands National Park.

Today, at 8 this morning, I’m getting back on the Island Packers boat and getting dropped off at San Miguel Island, the outermost and most weather intensive of these bits of heaven.

There are said to be elephant seals on the beaches and maybe some blue whales to be seen in the ride over.

It’s a whole different world.

After these last two weeks of journaling, the contemplative kind of journaling that was so helpful for me to understand this present season I have a break, a release, a renewing of my soul in absolute peace and beauty.

It’s not easy though. I have to bring all my own water and it’s pretty steep to get to the campsite. Definitely a rugged place.

But it’s so beautiful, so remote, so totally invigorating, especially now that as I’ve sorted through some of my questions and perspectives I can go with a clearer mind, seeking God with much more peace than I would have two weeks ago.

That’s why I like writing, I guess. It clears the system. It’s a spiritual and emotional laxative. I pour out my random words and begin to see a trend, and see a movement, and see God yet again. He never left, but I had forgotten how to look or where to look or why.

Today is a gift, an adventure into God’s creation.

I think I’m a little giddy. Tonight I’m going to fall asleep with the sounds of waves and seals and wind blowing from thousands of miles of ocean pouring over me.

Thanks God. Thanks for these little islands and how they’ve been a spiritual boon for me these last years.

This was written May 25, 2007. In a couple weeks I’m going back to Santa Barbara island for the first time since 1999. And I’m looking forward to it for much the same reasons I post here.

A couple years ago, Barclay Press invited me to do a two week daily journal for their website. They’ve since changed their online presence so those writings are gone. I was sorting out different files on my computer this evening and happened to run across them. So, I thought, I might as well repost them here. Both to have a record of them, and maybe more so, because this was written early in 2007. A fair bit of changes have happened in my life since then, so these are records of a time in my life when all I had was faith. I was writing a lot during these journaling times, and it’s curious what came out when I sat down to write. So, mostly for me, but also for anyone whose interested, I’m going to post one of these a day for the next couple of weeks or so.

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