Ever have someone cancel an appointment at the last-minute? or not show up without any notification? Ever been frustrated by such an occurrence? Ever been thankful? That’s me today. There are days when my schedule is way too full. Days when finding time to physically be still much less mentally, spiritually still seems out of reach. Today is one of those days when I’ve been going since early this morning and there seemed to be no let up in sight.
I arrived back at the office a few moments early before my next appointment, shut my door, scarfed down a few Ritz crackers, closed my eyes, breathed in deeply and exhaled out the rush, the chaos, the exhaustion.
One of my favorite contemplative, mindfulness quotes is; “Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” #HermannHesse
My sanctuary is a small chapel in Dickson, Tennessee, on the grounds of Montgomery Bell State Park. Several years ago I went there for a prayer retreat and discovered this quaint little building that was everything I wanted and needed for stillness, solace and solitude.
When I retreat into my stillness, my sanctuary, this is where I go. In my mind and spirit I walk down the dirt path, listening to the birds, feeling the sun on my face. I amble up the stairs and push open the heavy wooden door. I breathe in the air of this ancient structure, reminding myself of countless others who have done this very same thing. I step hesitantly down the aisle my shoes echoing on the wooden floor. I sit in the empty space on a hard, solid bench. The noise fades as I wait, and welcome the calm, the assurance, the sanity.
For about five minutes today, before the blur of my hectic day continued I went there, in my mind, in my spirit. Letting go of where I was and travelling to a place that was safe from this noisy, bustling, never stopping, world. It was wonderful, if only for a few moments.
Then it happened. My next appointment didn’t show up. He could’ve forgotten, been busy, called into work, become sick but for whatever reason a forty-five minute window of relief opened and I was thankful.
So back to my little chapel in the woods, my sanctuary, my stillness I will go.
To have that place where you can go, that still sanctuary to which you can retreat is not only important but necessary and vital. We must find it and go there often or lose ourselves in the swift current of time and the passing of life.