I was planning to be a tourist.
I hesitate to say “had to go” because it really was a great gift… I took advantage of an opportunity to go to Hawaii for some work meetings.
Luckily enough I was able to fit in a couple extra days before the meetings started.
I was planning to be a tourist and walk miles of beaches filled with surfers / surfboards / and all those cute little beach huts that you see in the movies. Meet some locals / eat some delicious seafood / sip on colorful drinks topped with pineapple and umbrellas.
Maybe I was on a different island.
Instead… I got a spiritual 2 x 4 upside the head.
By the time I finished my work at home so I could enjoy some stress-free days in the islands, I was all frazzled up in a tizzy… feeling a lot of pressure from all sides / all angles… basically I was a wreck. In the few days leading up to my departure, I had at least once-a-day-meltdowns either over the phone or in person… and emotionally I was spent.
At 5:00 am on a Friday morning sitting at the airport gate, my fever broke.
I am the one making myself crazy!
What a profound moment… because then my inner hand smacked my outer face and said: Snap out of it!
My new book is Things Hidden by Fr. Richard Rohr. I’m only on about page 10 but already I read about me.
His definition: Suffering is when you are not in control.
I was suffering… making myself totally nuts… because I am not in control of any of this.
I literally felt the weight of the 10,000 things fall off my shoulders.
What a great way to start a trip… and I hadn’t even gotten on an airplane yet.
The rest of my retreat experience is a bit more private than I want to share online. But I will say that I have returned to the mainland transformed.
I was expecting to be a tourist… to encounter a new place / culture / people on a purely superficial level.
But God catches us unaware…
… and uses all moments to change us from the inside out… essentially blowing up whatever it is we think we know and control.
Honestly… how can it work any other way.
Next up: How the Honu Saved Me.