A couple of years ago, a friend sent me this quote about the wide open spaces: “There is something to be cherished in the wide open space, if only a chance to breathe in unknown air in search of a new way forward.” (author unknown)
When I first read the quote, it struck me as profound. Within days, I headed out to southern Wyoming and northern Colorado for some needed time in those open spaces. That trip helped get me through a pretty rough stretch.
Today I think of that quote again, on the heels of two of my favorite weeks ever in Colorado and some of those open spaces — and believe me, for someone who loves the mountains, and the open spaces of the west like I do, that is no small statement.
There was the challenge and deeply fulfilling time of starting new RHYTHMinTWENTY and Rogue Journey groups with 45 incredible leaders from all over the country. There was the challenge of creating the space and pace for others to engage some of those wide open spaces for themselves. There were the moments for me of just enjoying the quiet and beauty that God has created. There were those few hours I got to drive a jeep in those mountains and just soak it all in. There was the time I had to think about the next steps that I sense God may be wanting me and Harbor Ministries to take. There were the few hours of continuing to learn the art of fly fishing, and having this great guide cheer, coach, teach, listen, and celebrate every cast, every catch, and even every “almost” catch that morning.
There was the moment of seeing that same fishing guide stop and stare at the mountains, and me asking him, “After 20 years of doing this, do you ever get tired of the sight of this open valley and that mountain view?”
And then hearing his response: “Are you kidding?”
Getting away, getting quiet, finding the time to enter the wide open spaces is never easy to do. I am reminded again how important—how critical—it is for my own journey.
- It reminds me that there are times I absolutely have to shut off the noise so that I can really hear Him.
- In those opens spaces, I often find the clarity, confidence, and strength to step out, take a risk, and keep moving.
- It is so often in those open spaces that I find that elusive peace…. that peace that surpasses all comprehension.
- In those open spaces comes the permission to write… to dream… to create.
- Open space gives me a chance to remember that God really does walk with me through all that life throws my way. He reminds me He is right there… through the tears, frustrations, success, beauty, and disappointments.
So I don’t know about you, but I am going to keep chasing those wide open spaces.