What’s “That Place” for you? Where is your oasis? Where do you go to “get away from it all” and re-charge?
After driving up and down a bumpy West Virginia road in a giant U-Haul truck for hours recently, this sign caught my eye. Not the place I would personally choose as a safe-haven, but there it was-- right at the top of a twisty-turvey treacherous stretch of road beckoning people to stop, take a break and venture inward. I questioned aloud whether it was a “safe place” to get a drink and relax for a minute, but we decided to keep driving.
Have you ever had this experience? Not sure if you should go in or keep on driving? This happened to me in a spiritual sense not so very long ago. It put me at a crossroad.
I had been challenged by a priest to explore my faith more deeply but was very wary of what he was asking. I had been warned by well meaning people not to cross a certain threshold, as there was “danger” on the other side. Others, however, had encouraged me to go to “That Place.” This place was not a road side stop. It was the Adoration Chapel at a Catholic Church. What I found inside was to be the greatest discovery, the deepest well of spiritual refreshment anyone could ever have hoped for. You can read about it here in chapter three, Doors Unlocked, in Metamorphosis of a Soul.
Thank goodness, by God’s grace, I was able to go to “That Place”. From the outside, it had seemed very foreboding, but now I think of it as one of “My Places.” It is where I go to find solace, comfort, peace, renewal. It is where I go to pour my heart out to God and He so sweetly calms my anxiety, worries, hurts or fears. I also go just to sit. Or to praise Him. I go just to go.
Why? Even more mind boggling than the fact that He listens to me, and is always there for me, what I have found is that when I go there, in some mystical, amazing way it comforts Him too. What an absolutely stupendous thought...we can comfort and console Him. When we go to “That Place,” even that place in our hearts, that place of prayer, God is so delighted to see us. He welcomes us in, smiles and says, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. “ Matthew 11:28. “‘Come.’ Let the one who thirsts come forward, and the one who wants it receive the gift of life-giving water.” Revelation 22:17. Just Come. The light is perpetually on, the doors are always open, and the grace is always flowing freely.
Are you in need of a spiritual drink? Only Jesus can slake our thirst. Only He can give us all we are looking for. Only He can satisfy us.
I challenge you this week...take a summer time break. Go to the Well of Living Water. Try going to just one daily Mass or spending just a bit of more of one relaxed summer day on your knees before the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration. Or what about a “Mass date" with your loved one? Meet for a 5:30 Mass and then head to dinner? It will be the best “stay-cation” you could ever have. You will leave feeling refreshed and renewed. And you will have a fresh zip in your step to keep on “movin’ down the road.”
All you who are thirsty, come to the water! You who have no money, come, buy grain and eat; Come, buy grain without money, wine and milk without cost! Why spend your money for what is not bread; your wages for what does not satisfy? Only listen to me, and you shall eat well, you shall delight in rich fare. Isaiah 55:1
You are a safe place for me to come to in order to be satisfied. You always welcome me into Your presence and receive me with open arms. Thank You that I can come any time to You in prayer, but that I can also physically be in Your presence in any Catholic Church or Adoration Chapel. Give me a desire to want to know and love You more, to spend time with You and be refreshed and renewed. And if I am not “feeling it”, give me the gift of faith to know that You are there and that my being with You delights Your heart. Oh Lord, Thank You that You know us so completely, and welcome us and love us still. Thank You that You are a “Come as you are” kind of God.
May we always take our rest in You.
We ask this in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.