Monday, April 28, 2008

Twenty-four hours ago...

24 hours ago right now, I was in the minivan making my way home from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. Having flown back from White Plains, New York. After having spent the weekend in Ashford, Connecticut leading a women's retreat for the church I attended when we lived in CT. It was a fantastic weekend.

Laughter. Games. Long talks late at night. Tears. Stories. Hugs. Encouragement. Eating M&Ms and those almond clusters I crave so often. Singing. Reading and discussing some passages in the Bible. Pondering together some of the questions Jesus asked his friends and followers while he walked on earth.

"What do you want me to do for you?
Do you want to be healed?
Why are you crying?
Who are you looking for?
What are you talking about as you walk along the way?"

But the main question we pondered this weekend was this: "Do you believe this?"
(Do you believe that I love you, that I am who I say I am, that I feel your pain and weep with you, that I am the resurrection and the life, that I am the living water, that I have a plan to prosper you and not to harm you? Do you believe this?)

If so, what difference does my belief make in my life?
Does what I believe affect the way that I deal with my family and friends?
Does it affect the way that I treat those I don't know?
The way that I treat those who don't believe as I do?

Does what I believe affect the way that I think, speak, and act?
Does it affect the way that I see the world around me and those that live in it?
Does it affect the way that I handle conflict, challenges, and insults?
Does it affect the way that I deal with traffic delays and unpaid bills?
Does it affect the way that I handle myself when I make mistakes and hurt others?
Does what I believe cause me to hasten to ask for forgiveness or make me more reluctant to do so? Does it increase the speed with which I forgive others or decrease it?

If what I believe doesn't affect those areas of my life -
in fact, every area of my life -
then how much do I believe it?
And is what I believe worthy of my faith, my hope, or my trust?

So much to ponder...
I am learning to live with the questions.
I am hoping to live my way into more of the answers.

I'm not sure when my trusty red suitcase and I will hit the road again, but when we do, there will be far more exciting photos to share, I promise!


Amy said...

It sounds like a wonderful weekend filled with much contemplation and many blessings. Did the retreat have a theme? I would love to attend one of your retreats!

Thought-provoking questions there!

Lori said...

Hey Gail, I was so blessed on the retreat by speaking. But mostly your challenges. Thank you again for being a part of my life. Ill write more later.

GailNHB said...

Lori, I am glad you enjoyed the retreat. I was enormously glad to be there.

Amy, the theme was that question: "Do you believe this?" As for attending one, I will let you know when another one comes up that I will be involved with. In the future, I will post the info here on the blog for anyone who wants to attend.

Thanks to both of you and to all who have read and supported me on this and all my other adventures.

AA said...

Hey Gail,

Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou for bringing over more goodies for dinner!

I love my GHB Pasta Special: "Great Hearty Bowl" of sausage and pasta.

Round 2 is tonight! Thanks for making enough for two servings.

jmgb said...

hey lady...was this the 'daniel' conference? i have mediated on your comments, on S,M,&A, on the truth in the furnace...thank you for your words of wisdom and encouragement. blessings upon you for made sense.