I sit in the dining area at a Conference Centre on the Sunshine Coast. A fan whirrs above my head. My body feels weary due to lack of sufficient sleep. My mind is filled with of too much information crammed into it in too brief a time. My fingers get busy as I begin to type. Opposite me sits my new, beautiful friend Elaine. Elaine lives in Perth. I live in Adelaide.
We connected through a Christian writers group on Facebook. We finally met face to face at the Writer’s Getaway in sunny Queensland. We didn’t ‘know’ each other till a few days ago. It has been a specially warming experience to connect with her in person. To get to know the beautiful person she is. To pray with her. To add her to my friendship circle.
I sit here now – a day after I began this blog. Not in Alexandra Headland. But in my own cosy little nest, in front of my own computer. What should I write about on my blog today? My brain has many ideas swirling around. Which of them should I choose?
Many thoughts try to get their attention, one like an impatient student in class who raises her hand shouting ‘Pick me! Pick me’! I pick her. One word jumps out at me. Relationship! What makes me pick her? I know. I am refreshed this morning. Not due to the 9 ½ hours sleep I enjoyed last night! I am refreshed because of relationship. With God and with His people.
Four days ago, I stepped onto a plane that took me 2000 kilometers away from home. My friend Aruni was there to greet me at the Brisbane airport, to drive me around, to offer me gracious hospitality in her beautiful home, to cook delicious meals for me, to share with me and to pray with me. It was a very happy interlude. I was pampered. I was well fed. It was a good time. A very good time. I even got to play with her friendly, affectionate, playful dogs Zoro and Zara. I was revitalised when I left her charming abode.
The next three days changed from that refreshing relaxed pace to an action packed, frenzied one. Like a walk in the park had become a 100 meter dash. Like a seaside holiday had turned into a mad and merry discotheque. About 70 – 90 of us Christian writers gathered together at a conference centre. They were days jam-packed with many informative, inspiring sessions. It was a case of go – go – go!
I loved meeting many lovely people with similar passions to mine. I enjoyed hearing their stories. Celebrating their accomplishments. Learning from their expertise. Praying with them. Worshipping together. As I reflect now on the past few days, I find the conference exceeded my expectations. The weather? Tick! The people? Tick! The meals? Yum! The accommodation? Tick! The seminar I ran? Yes, even that went well. Thank you Father God. (And thank you to those who prayed for me)
What made it so memorable? The connections with God’s people. As I get back into life’s busy merry-go-round today – I know I have continued strength for it, because I’ve once again been refreshed in mind, body and spirit. My batteries have been re-charged. My time in Queensland began with a friend I’d known for 30 years. My time in Queensland ended with a friend I’d just met in person. Both connections blessed me deeply. Many other connections in between blessed me greatly too. And that wasn’t all.
Besides all the new connections I made this weekend – there were other precious links which kept me going. Many in my family and friendship circle were praying for me. I felt those prayers. Their love for me made a difference. I kept well – because of their prayers. I was able to do my own session with ease – because of their prayers. I enjoyed a wonderful God given time – through their faithful prayers.
What made my time away so special? Not just the amazing weather, the delicious food, the warm hospitality, the time out of my usual routine, the gathering together with those of like mind. No it was far more than that. It was all about Relationship. Having many beautiful people in my life who care for me adds rich layers to my life.
The riches that will last forever are the connections I make with other people. I pause today and thank God for relationship. That He created each of us to commune with Himself and with each other. It was His special gift to us.
How are your relationships today? Are they healthy? Are they strong? Are they all they should be? Do grab hold of them. Deepen them. Work on them. Don’t give up on them. RELATIONSHIP is one of the keys to enjoying life and reaping eternal rewards.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:1, 13