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Stop Requested
Photo: Lisa
My first trip to Oahu does not read like a travel journal. There were no five-star hotels or plush rental cars. Instead, I slept with my daughter (a college student) on a single mattress in a small, windowless room in Ewa Beach.

We roamed the island via transit bus, hovering at stops, nostrils and lungs continually assaulted by exhaust fumes and cigarette smoke that seemed to hang in the dank air like toxic stench. Finally on board, clinging to handrails for dear life, we were pummeled and jostled at every turn by this 20 ton mechanical bully that pulled us down the street.

Students, workers, retirees – all travel weary souls, were sleeping and nodding or iPodding, or gazing straight ahead with uniform, vacant stares.

Time to get off

“Stop requested.” The automated male voice repeatedly intoned. Obediently, the mechanical beast lurched to a stop, belched out a half dozen trippers and inhaled a half dozen more back in before lumbering on its way.

“Stop requested.” I mumbled to myself. Oh, how I wanted to get off! Suddenly, I remembered that Jesus too was jostled and pummeled by the crowds when He walked this earth. Pushing, shoving, reaching and grasping, a sea of humanity ebbing and flowing and surging toward Him on a daily basis, each one hoping for a touch of the Master’s healing hand.

How did He cope with the stress? Where did Jesus find His center? Where did He find the strength to come back day after day and do it all over again?

Ironically, Jesus too, longed to escape and escape He did. The Bible reveals that He often took to the hills to talk with God. At other times He sailed off by Himself in a boat to a remote area to be alone.

But how can one talk to God in the city when the only hills in sight are embossed green upon the atlas on your coffee table? How can one paddle off to a remote area to be alone when the only boat within miles is rubber and launches from your bathtub?

There are places in the city to be alone with God but often we have to carve them out for ourselves. Try some of these suggestions:
  • Get up early one morning while it’s still dark and the city hibernates.
  • Seclude yourself in a bedroom with the box fan on high.
  • Hang out in the living room, CD player splashing nature sounds (waterfalls or ocean waves).
  • Drive the freeways; (eyes open!) play soft music in the background.
God can be found in all these places, and more.

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By Kathy A. Lewis. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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