Saturday, May 24, 2008

Back From The Jungle

We're back! After 9 days in Belize (and two extra days for travel), Jobina and I returned to the Truth North Strong and Free and were delighted (overjoyed actually) to see our kids again. Thanks so much to Julie for being a wonderful guest blogger while we were gone. I think it's safe to say that you artfully took Random Enlightenment to explore it's feminine side much more then I ever would have! Seriously, thanks Julie. I enjoyed very much your perspective, feelings, and humor. Perhaps you will have to start your own blog some day?

Over the next few days I'm going to simply journal our little trip by posting a daily brief record of what we did and some pictures as well. Hopefully it will give you a half decent idea of what Belize is like, the places and people we met, and the impact it had on us.

On a personal note, I must say that this trip was a thing of beauty and that I feel changed as a person. Somehow, especially in the last few days I felt God really speaking into my life and touching my heart. I had planned to have a nice mix of adventure, relaxation, and reconnecting with my wife - all of which were accomplished. I had also hoped to have some decent times with God too but was not all that optimistic, most of my times with Him have been dry and confusing over these past few months. I could blame school, life, etc. but truthfully I'm not sure why. I had hoped to be able to see some refreshing in my spiritual life, maybe commune with God better in the wild.

The trip was going great but something felt missing spiritually. But in the last three or so days God blessed me by reaching my heart. It's hard to describe (ask me in person sometime and I'll try to explain it) but suddenly everything around me was pointing me to the importance of a reality that hadn't entered my mind a lot lately: "relationship." By my interaction with people, a movie I saw on the plane, my own introspection, and especially the last book I read ("The Shack") I felt like God was impressing upon me the importance of relationship with Him and with others. Something in me changed. The mystery of love (something that's been eluding me) was illuminated. Though Jobina didn't see it (sadly my pride and my English blood conspire against me) I became quite emotional. I feel like my heart is back and I am so thankful.

Just as I don't know how to describe my experience, I also don't know what it will mean for me now - I just know that it will be different and I'm excited/frightened by it. So yes, I had an absolutely wonderful vacation. Belize was, well, unBelizable! But the biggest blessing, and something I want to thank my Heavenly Father for was God directly interceding to help me with a problem I hadn't even recognized. I felt like it was gift especially for me. Anyway, I hope you enjoy my posts about our trip and feel free to ask any questions if you have them.

May Light increase!


Julie said...

Well, folks, I guess this is good bye from me...although I may still lurk here and there! It's been fun!

I was trying to post a nice little goodbye post, but something wasn't working so I checked the blog and discovered Mark is back!!! Welcome Home Mark! I guess you can read what I was going to say in your edit drafts list thing. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your trip!

the ex-guest blogger

Chad said...

welcome home mark! yes I will be working at camp all 5 weeks, I was going through your online book store and was looking at SAS survival handbook and was wondering if you think that there is aspects in that book that would be able to be taught in camping skills at camp. now that I am back I think I want to borrow some of your outdoors books.

Mark said...

Hey Julie, sorry to upstage your post, feel free to do a "final post" if you'd like!

Mark said...

Hey Chad, sure you can borrow some books. Just call me and come on over!

Jay Boaz said...

Welcome home sir! At first glance at the picture you posted I thought you had shaved down to a baby face but upon closer inspection I see two levels of facial hair growth. :)


Mark said...

Thanks Jay, it's good to be home. I guess I'll see you at Dahlen's wedding? As for the facial hair, well, let's just say there was a bit of experimentation going on . . .