The Cowboy Pastor’s Wife, Norma Elliott: He’s in control
A few years ago my husband and I went on vacation. Yes, every now and then we actually leave the ranch and head somewhere. I mean we planned the whole thing. Since we wanted to go fly fishing and get a break from the Texas heat, we chose Colorado.
Amongst our packing list was things like, bedrolls, campstove, fly and teepee. We included lots of food, coffee pot, dutch ovens, and plenty of drinks loaded in the ice chest. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed but camping is kind of like moving. The truck was loaded carefully, sorta like a puzzle, tarps and ropes were handy in case of rain.
We left the ranch at 5 a.m. and made our way West and took a turn North shortly after El Paso. We slept sitting up in a parking lot in Santa Fe for a few hours and arrived around noon to set up camp at our destination. Being Labor Day weekend…note to self..bad time to go camping, we finally found a place near some RV’ers. We are ranch people ya’ll, we aren’t used to strangers in such close quarters.
We ate our first dinner over the campfire, threw our line in the water a few times, caught no fish, cleaned up for bed, and were about to hit the hay, when the crazy guy camping next to us decided to shoot off his gun! What the heck…was there a snake? Or maybe a bear that he was trying to scare off? Ummmm NO! He continued shooting, close to other campers, hikers, and such and I ran for cover! “I’m out and heading back to Texas!” We packed up in fifteen minutes flat and moved camp to the other side of the mountain.
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Our trip started off rough and we lost a day due to Rambo but our new secluded camp made it somewhat better. We fished…still caught nothing, hiked, and cooked some amazing food. It rained, rained, and rained some more and we read books, ate more food and questioned our planning skills. We were about to mark this trip as the worst we had ever taken, when the sun broke through the clouds, with this… we took our Bibles and a picnic on a hike.
This was our last chance to squeeze much needed restoration into the last 24 hours of the trip and this decision was by far our best. We hiked over bridges, up narrow steep paths, and admired waterfalls. We stopped to picnic on a rock, opened our Bibles and prayed. We talked about the Lord and admired what He had done for us in the last year. Our time on the mountain also included asking Him for guidance for the next year and that we would follow His lead.
This single day was one we will always remember as a special time with the Lord and we almost forgot to take Him along. We almost let our whole time away be our plans and not His. We almost forgot where true restoration comes from and wondered if things would have been different if we had done this first.
Jesus took his disciples on a fishing trip at a time when they were tired from their labor. I like to think he was fishing along the way and of course he caught something every time. If you’d like to read about it, you can find it in Mark 6:7-13 and in verses 30-32. Now, doesn’t that sound like a better plan to go along with Him instead of the other way around.
You see, we planned where we were going, and what we would take but almost neglected the area that needed the most attention, the quiet restoration that comes from God. I don’t know about you but if you’ve ever experience the vacation fail this might certainly help. It might help right where you’re at today. We don’t even have to take a trip miles away to get the true rest we all need.
Thank you for reading…thecowboypastorswife
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