Creating space for thought and time together

By Contributor Daryl Geffken

Daryl Geffken

There is this place I love to go.  It’s a lodge located near Winthrop. For the past 12 years my family has gone there annually. We skate ski, we eat, we laugh a ton, and lately we chase the little ones around. But is one thing is missing. There is no TV.

Open the door to our room and a quiet bit of classical music is playing. No voices, no commercials, no screens, just the opportunity to interpret the calm music and beauty of the valley floor expanding beyond our windows.

I have travelled here from all points of the Northwest. It is typically a white-knuckle event; a marathon of sorts full of all the obstacles that could impede winter traffic — snow storms, ice, thick fog and deer (including the one that launched our Honda Accord skyward one year). In truth, there are two roads I loathe in the United States, this one, and the drive into the Grand Canyon at night.

When I walk into that room, I know I can unplug. I can spend time with family.  And when they are resting, I can spend time in thought. I am no longer distracted by all the modern convenience of life with its instant connection. I am forced to reflect on things I’ve stored away “for later.”

I am busy, but no busier than you. I believe most people are exceedingly active in their world.  I work for a university in town and the No. 1 issue identified by student leaders on campus is the feeling of over-commitment.

This trip is a created space in my life. I know I need time to decompress. We all do. So, I schedule time away from things so I can pause and allow the deeper currents of my life to take me where I need to go. Once a year is not enough, however. I have discovered I must schedule this time with much more consistency.

What do you do to offer space for reflection? I encourage you to create a regular space for reflection, for thought, for prayer. If your immediate response is, “I’m too busy,” tell yourself, “You’re full of crap.” To take this time has an insurmountable value, only understood after practice.

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