We have spent the last full week on Wolf Lake in the western upper peninsula of Michigan in a little house on Duck Point with nine other young men. Duck Point juts out into Wolf Lake. The house if full of windows which look out on the lake on three sides. Dan and Wes were among them. The adventure was called a Journey to the Heart. We spent the time seeking the Lord, praying, studying the Scriptures and searching our hearts. Day after day we probed and examined our lives. Across the lake Holly led a group of nine young women in a Journey to the Heart for girls.
Driving north from the western suburbs of Chicago the traffic flows steadily along but the further north you get the more the city and suburbs thin out and the countryside turns to farmland. By the time you get north of Madison, Wisconsin forests of pines and birches, lakes and streams become more and more frequent and busy cares begin to lift.
Every morning we rose early and spent the first two hours seeking the Lord in prayer and silence. The men each found a spot in the house to seek the Lord and there prayed and spent time reading the Scriptures while the coffee brewed and the tea kettle rattled and whistled. At eight o’clock we would gather together and pray as a group and begin to study and search out hearts together in the light of the Scriptures.
We ate two meals a day, brunch and supper, standing and singing the doxology before enjoying our meal. The men cooked and baked their food and teamed up to clean up after each meal. There was a happy spirit of co-operation among them. There were humorous exchanges but not an injuring word was uttered through the whole week.
Toward afternoon we reserved some time to get outside and enjoy the beauty of creation and to keep alert while seeking God. On a couple evenings as the sun shown between the pines we hiked out and back two or three miles together. Some of the men walked all the way across the frozen lake. One day we took a two-hour snowshoe hike. Late one afternoon while the snow was falling we followed each other through the snow-flocked woods on cross-country skis while more white powder fell. On the Lord’s Day we walked all the way around the lake. The sun set while we walked and a waxing moon shone through the trees casting shadows on the bright snow. It was a few degrees below zero. The warm lights of the cottage were a welcome sight when they finally came into view.
In the evening we had fellowship, read, and watched some powerful messages on video. Before bedtime we read evening prayers, prayed together, reviewed Scriptures and drifted into the gift of winter sleep. One night before bedtime, after a long day I read a favorite message by Charles Spurgeon on the gift of sleep the Lord gives to those he loves. While I read the message the room was especially warm. By the time I was done most of the men were enjoying the gift of sleep itself. Late at night or early in the morning some of us would bundle up and walk outside to gaze in wonder at the brilliant night sky. I don’t know how not to worship God when I do that.
On Sunday we all went to worship together. Four or five inches of new snow had fallen on Saturday night so it was a slow beautiful drive to church. There was prayer and singing in our van as we drove between the snow-flocked forests. We were a third of the congregation in the little Bible Church in Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin. The little church was quaint setting a third of a mile back a curving lane in a snowy pine woods.
When we left the Northwoods behind, we had all had a taste of the sweetness of Christ and we we’re hungry for more of Him. In two years I will be fifty. I feel grief when I think how long it has taken me to see the great sweetness and stunning beauty of Christ. It has taken me so long to realize that Jesus is not just my Savior, but he is my Treasure. Before I go to be with Him I would like to know that my wife and sons and daughters and their sons and daughters have tasted of Christ and found him sweet, that they have gazed on Christ and that their beauty has ravaged their hearts so thoroughly that they will never be the same. I want to know that they treasure fellowship with Jesus.
O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come. (Psa 71:17-18 KJV)
Indianapolis Training Center
February 2, 2007