Re-read your favorite books.
Re-watch your favorite movies.
Go back to that geography that romanced you as a child.
As a culture, we worship “next”. We binge on content and put our hope in the next version. We live in a culture that spends more energy focusing on the 3.0 version that is coming than the 2.0 version that is available today. From coffee machines (has anyone said publicly how terrible Keurig insta-coffee tastes compared to a real cup of espresso at a real café?) to computers, it’s always the “next.” As John puts it, we live in the age of upgrade.
We approach our spiritual development the same. It’s the next book, the next message, the next idea.
God doesn’t change. But we have.
I find myself more and more going back to old treasures and mining them for a deeper cut. The Christian life is always an invitation to dig deeper to get to the gold.
I’m reading Open Mind, Open Heart for the fifth time. More and more gold.
And I’m back in Everlasting Stream. In some ways I feel like I have the book memorized, or at least the ideas. I have savored it and shared it countless times; it is among my top two all-time best reads. But to go back to the text, to hear Walt’s stories of camaraderie, laughter, initiation, adventure all over again…it heals me and gives me hope more deeply now than in my first rich pass 10 years ago.
This spring I took my youngest brother back to the geography where we first learned to golf and first learned to cast a fly rod. It’s a hole in the wall of a golf course and the stream is more of a drainage flow, but the geography held our memories and some slice of the heart of God, like a bottle of the greatest reserve, aged and cracked open for a feast among dearest allies.
Last week I visited a piece of Colorado wilderness that I hadn’t been to in over seven years. The geography holds a part of my relationship with God and His Fathering that I’ve not yet accessed anywhere else. Literally, as we drove through a storm and came into the lush valley with a Colorado sunset, a grand rainbow was awaiting, as if to say,
“Remember when I met you here in these mountains. Remember the joy, the suffering, the adventure? Remember what I did, what I said, what we shared?”
But I didn’t quite realize how much it held until I was back on that sacred land. It took the “revisiting” to behold the fullness. Being in that space, seeing the same ridge line silhouetted against the evening sky, driving the same bend in the two lane road, being back there served as a vantage point for God to help me see where I’ve traveled with Him since that season seven years ago.
Here’s the gold. By way of lifestyle warfare – a true stand against the spirit of the age: Slow Down. Pause. Go back. Revisit. Go back to some old treasures. You are a different man from the one who first tasted them.
Go back to the old book that changed your life.
Watch that old movie that stirred your heart a decade ago.
Take a day trip to that old geography that spoke so deeply years ago.
Go back and meet the Father in that familiar yet altogether new place. It will help loosen the grips of the temptation to just find “the next thing”. Let Him remind you of who you were, how He stirred you, and what He wants you to remember afresh. Let Him tell you who you are now. Let Him woo your heart again.
Go back. Revisit. Take a deeper dig; there’s more gold to be found right in that very place…
Jesus, where do you want me to return to? What do you want me to return to? (stay with the question until you have a sense of His leading.)