I spent most of today sitting on the desert road looking at the tallest mountain in the North Island, Mt Ruapehu. It was snowing today, tonight is supposed to be -4 degrees Celsius. I am sleeping in my car by the way...
I always find that when I go on a retreat or an adventure things just taste better. I enjoy my cup of tea more, this morning when I had a shave I savoured the experience of man's mastery over blades.
Right now as I am having a beautiful, but expensive, curry. I can feel my tongue burning from the chilli, my icy cold fingers tapping away at the keyboard, I can hear that the restaurant fridge is about to blow up, and I can hear the lounge music playing softly in the corner. I have not seen one Thai person but the waitress is Brazilian.
I have come away for some clarity, inspiration, insight, and adventure. I just blew my nose because the heat of the curry has made it run. There is only one other couple in the restaurant and I tried to blow it quietly as to not ruffle them... oh well.
Today I drove through Taupo, a town, but also a volcano responsible for the largest eruption in the world in the last 70,000 years (apparently). At its most destructive blast it ejected 30km3, think about that for a second, creating a flow of hot nasty stuff that travelled at between 600-900km. For some reason there is this pride of coming from a land that pretty much has the largest volcano in the world.
I got to thinking about the history of New Zealand (Aotearoa), and I was reminded how the people of this land came to be here by the means of some great voyages into the unknown of the pacific ocean, the most isolated lands in the world.
It was suggested to me once to travel across the world via boat so that I get an appreciation for how big the world really is. I have not yet done this but I have travelled 2300km on a 50cc scooter at one stage and I concluded that that was quite far indeed. All that to say that I am reminded about how far people have travelled to be here, and how blessed I am to be here also.
Last night I stayed with my Nanna (it's good to visit your grandparents by the way). I surprised her with chocolate and flowers, she beat me repeatedly at checkers and snakes n' ladders. She also told me it's time to settle down and stop roaming about, I told her I was trying to be a good boy and I think that satisfied her somewhat.
Neither Nanna or my mother, or my girlfriend for that matter, like the idea of me sleeping in my car in -4 degrees, but there is nothing they can do about that now! It makes me on the other hand feel alive, being at a loose end for a couple of days. This curry I am eating is quite hot by the way.
Jesus often retreated, went up a mountain, prayed in a garden, or fasted for forty days in a desert! Times like these have been quite fruitful in my life, I don't think I will ever fast for forty days. It would also appear that they were integral in the life of Jesus.
I have found it harder and harder to invest into these times as life gets busier and busier. It feels more and more uncomfortable doing what appears to be nothing. What I am suggesting here is that sometimes the most productive thing you can do, appears to look like nothing.
Maybe it's time you had a little retreat... At least it will make you enjoy your cup of tea just a little bit more.
Jared Diprose is a graduate from Carey Baptist College in New Zealand. He is a self-employed carver and craftsman, you can view some of his work at www.jareddiprose.co.nz. He speaks when invited, writes when he can, and believes in the power of words to shape lives.
Jared Diprose' previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/jared-diprose.html