June 29, 2008

I needed to get out for a few hours. The week was long as is always the case when working in the studio during vocal sessions. Intense is a better word. Very focused.

I wanted to go away for the weekend but our schedules wouldn't reconcile so we packed up lots of water and stuff to make a sandwich, packed the family and headed west an hour where we boarded a canoe and lit out onto the Harpeth River.

I am so "end result" oriented sometimes. I have a part of me that is driven to productivity and an opposing part that knows full well that accomplishment is realatively empty at the end of the day with no interraction with God in the mix. When I have to go out for a week or more on the road I adjust quickly and open myself up to whatever might be around the next bend and whatever God might want to teach me. When I'm in the grind of Nashville that's a little harder to access. I had to spend some time willing myself to slow the world down and smell, look and listen.

By the time the four hour excursion was over I had lived a metaphor for life. We did drift calmly through the rolling hills and it was fantastic. We also hit a tree and capsized having to chase our belongings down the current. At several points we hit patches of rocks where the river was running low and the gravel bottom carved out over time by the water would rub the bottom of the boat. Twice we were dry docked by said gravel and had to shove our way slowly and tediously through it to extricate ourselves. Of course there were drunk partyers on the river with all sorts of language and behavior that isn't the best for the children but through each twist we navigated our way. At times I was terribly frustrated and then once back in the deep and peaceful I found myself repenting for something I'd said or done.

"Take the river to the next bridge you come to," was what the nice man told us when we departed and that's what we did. It was a four hour journey called The Loop. Once we got back to heaquarters I looked at a map and realized that's exactly what we had done. We'd looped around and arrived within a couple hundred yards of where we'd started. Driving away I felt like I was back at the begining again having gained some perspective on the journey.

God is gracious. He is patient and as much as I imagine Him frustrated at me from time to time the reality is He's teaching us and letting us learn. My lesson is to live in the fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness.....all of that. To live there. The reality is that these are the indicators (or fruits) that the Spirit is present in our lives. If they don't exist in a situation what does that mean? I don't want to consider that. I'd rather press forward through rocks, capsizing, heat, hecklers or whatever and press into the fruit of the Spirit because that's where God is.

Onward Comrades,


Brian Hardin, 6/28/2008