I just got home from an 8 day anniversary trip (13 years!!) with my Rennaissance man. 5 nights in the wilderness and 3 nights in travel to get there (plus a gloriously romantic night in a bed and breakfast). He asked me all year if I still wanted it to be a killer backpacking trip and I never waivered in my resolve – ABSOLUTELY! There is no other trip that deeply restores like being in the deep backcountry. Nothing.
Our first night was such a ridiculous contrast to the remaining nights. I thought it would be fun to see book a super cheap hotel and found a deal near Reno for about $25. Flashing neon lights, gambling, people trapped in windowless casinos, NOISE….it was a great hotel really but the setting was so unsettling. Do people really go to Reno to relax? Yikes. We got up the next day and hightailed it to our trailhead, outside of Bishop, CA.
God can speak so loud when the world’s city distractions give way to his creation. For 5 1/2 days we hiked – 60 miles – into high elevation Sierras into a basin called Evolution Basin that is heralded as one of the most beautiful places on earth – and it was. We lived at 11,000 feet high for 5 nights – with steep climbs and a total of over 22,000 feet in elevation changes (that’s like climbing South Sister 2 times!).
Each morning, I awoke with the same song. Every time we’d hit a rhythm on the trail and descend into silence this same song started playing in my mind. When that happens, I listen. I know it’s not a mistake. The chorus played. Each morning I asked God, is this song for me? Yes.
You see, the big change in my life is that I will start, tomorrow, teaching full time. I never wanted to work full time but when I interviewed for part time, they couldn’t resist offering me full time. I am half time music for grades 1 through 12 and then half time high school Spanish.
I am undoubtedly nervous. I don’t know if we can maintain the family lifestyle we have with me working full time. Renaissance man has told me he will do 100% of the cooking and shopping this year to allow me to put in the hours I need. But, ALL DAY! EVERY DAY! My life was totally full before this.
I want to serve these kids at this school. It’s such an honor and opportunity, but I don’t want to sacrifice my own family.
Back to the song. It’s called “Here I am” and each morning the mountain radio playing in my mind sang to me this chorus. I just got home and had to go see what the rest of the song had to say and it spoke directly into my life. I am to take on this song as my prayer. It will be hard…but as the song says, “Aren’t you the closest when it’s hardest to stand?” If I take on an attitude of “Here I am, use me” it will undoubtedly trump grumpy attitudes that threaten to steal my servant’s joy when this job bleeds into evenings and weekends.
So God, Here I am, send me to the ministry field of the classroom. All of my life, make it an offering.