An Oasis

As promised, Pondering Principles begins again today. My week away was well worth it. I never even touched a computer the entire time. Cruises are a lot about food, but I tried to limit the intake—somewhat. Working out nearly every morning must have burned some of those calories. At least I’m going to tell myself that.

It was my first time back in Puerto Rico in about four years, and I was glad to renew acquaintances. The door is open again to do some more teaching down there, possibly in November. That would be a fine way to spend Thanksgiving week.

One of the other highlights was a visit to St. Thomas. The views from the hilltops [mountaintops?] were stunning. I don’t use the word “awesome” too often, but it applies to the beautiful waters and architecture.

Yes, I rested, and God provides a rest for us from time to time. This one was needed. Some people are depressed as a cruise winds down; they don’t want to face coming back to “reality.” I don’t have that problem. My reality is from the Lord. He’s given me students to teach, good things to teach them, and a place to call home. The cliché is “count your blessings.” Well, that’s what I’m doing.

Although I didn’t enter cyberworld for a week, I did have time to delve into a new book about C. S. Lewis. I’m three-fourths of the way through and am enjoying it thoroughly. The subtitle is “Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet.” The focus is on Lewis’s writing, both the academic and the popular.

The book also has been an encouragement to me in a strange kind of way. The author details the trials Lewis went through during the late 1940s-early 1950s when the pressure of work, self-doubts, and the burden of taking care of a woman with dementia and a brother who went on alcoholic binges threatened to overwhelm him. He wondered if he would ever again find the time to write, and feared he had lost his edge in being able to write effectively. But what followed all these trials? The Chronicles of Narnia. His greatest success emerged from his darkest days.

As I consider the grading that is yet undone, the pressures of family and health, a manuscript that can’t find a publisher, and my own self-imposed regimen of attempting to say something worthwhile in this blog daily, I can empathize with Lewis. The encouragement is that I know the Lord leads us through every dry place into a refreshing oasis. His work is not done in me. Or you.

I’ve had my physical oasis this past week. The spiritual version is ongoing, if only I will tap into the Giver of all encouragement. I plan to do so.