TheBean & I get to spend the first couple of days of what would normally be the “First Work Week of 2021” at one of our favorite places in the whole world: a small cabin on the shores of Lake Tahoe. It’s (thankfully) on the Nevada side of the lake, albeit just a couple of miles from South Lake (& Califor-kneee-yaaaah). We’ve been very fortunate to be able to come to this place over the years for several reasons:
- It’s Lake Tahoe. C’mon man. This has got to be one of the most beautiful places in the whole world. I’ve not been EVERYWHERE, but over the years I have been places. Hawaii (Kauai & Maui). Italy. Switzerland. Germany. France. England. Poland. Mexico. Cana-dia. Been very blessed to see & stay in many beautiful locations, & hands-down, Lake Tahoe is the best.
- It’s close. We can get from our front door to the cabin’s front door in < 60 minutes. Fully unloaded & ready to “BE” in < 90. It’s good.
- It’s a rental. No day-to-day cost for maintenance & upkeep, let alone taxes. The cost of real estate in Reno/Sparks has gone through the roof, & Lake Tahoe is waaaaay beyond that. Coming to these cabins over the years has been a (relatively) simple & inexpensive way to do mini-vacations, with just the two of us & with all the kids/grandkids.
- Off-season discount. Coming to the cabins has been doable over the years because of an ‘off-season’ (Labor Day to Memorial Day) discount offered to clergy. It’s made places accessible that would have been WAAAY beyond the norm.
They say that all good things must come to an end. (Who is ‘they’? I’m immediately flashing back to my youth. I can still hear “Dandy” Don Meredith singing, 3-sheets to the wind, in the Monday Night Football booth, Turn out the lights/the party’s over/They say that all/good things must end…) We just discovered when we were attempting to sign up for our post-Labor Day cabin time that they off-season discount is one of the casualties of 2020 & will not be available going forward into 2021 & beyond. Bummer.
So… we’re taking a little extra time to soak in the time we have together here. To enjoy the beauty of the waves crashing & the wind howling in anticipation of the afternoon snow flurries. This has been a good place for us to BE. To learn (in the middle stage of life) what it means to recreate. To reconnect with each other. To stop. To rest. To celebrate. To reflect.
And still. I find myself wondering… Looking forward with anticipation… Here’s why:
There are a couple of points of inspiration, words of encouragement (WOE’s) really, that we’ve gotten in the last 3 months(& BOY have we needed those.) These 2 separate but related WOE’s state:
- Revelation 21:5 – Jesus is making ALL THINGS new. This is the theme that our mother-church organization is declaring for 2021, & I am holding on to it. Coming out of 2020, there are many things on my list that I would LOVE for Him to make new… but it’s not like I just submit a ‘wish-list’ to God & expect Him to cater to my wants & whims… His ways are much better & far more creative than my ways, which leads me to believe that the promise to make all things new is one that extends to me & theBean’s getaways. To our vacation, relaxation, reconnection, recharging, & reflection times. And that Jesus has something(s) in mind that will be New for us in these areas too. Even if we don’t see them yet.
- Completely separate from (but Oh So Related to) that WOE was a WOE that I received in my early morning coffee & Bible reading/pondering time. I was making my way through the Book of Isaiah (he’s a major prophet with most likely the greatest number of prophetic & insightful promises about the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One’s coming.) Anyways, it’s Isaiah 43:16-21 – God is doing a NEW thing. “NEW” here refers to 2 things: NEW as in unused, untouched, completely restored & whole kind of way; & NEW as in unprecedented, not seen before, groundbreaking. BOTH kinds of NEW spoken of here are encouraging, but the 2nd, the ‘unprecedented’ new… that requires just storing these things in your heart, watching & waiting & looking to SEE what God is up to. Because if it is unprecedented in our experience, we wouldn’t be able to anticipate it coming anyway.
Here’s to 2021. To the new. To the restored. To the unprecedented. To God’s blessings, old & new. To faithfulness, consistency, & connection with others. To living for more than just ME & MINE, & to being a tangible blessing in as many ways as possible to those that God chooses to bring into our path.