“Let’s get out of Dodge.”
We’d be leaving for summer vacation, and I had no idea what he meant. I’d never been to Dodge, much less lived there. We didn’t own one. We drove a Chevy. But each summer, we’d pile in the car, and he’d talk about leaving a place I’d never been or driving a car we didn’t own.
As a child, I trusted my folks to know what they were talking about. Often I didn’t understand, but big people were supposed to know better.
Trusting little cuss.
Come to find out later that Dad was a fan of the TV Western, “Gunsmoke” and its hero, Matt Dillon. When Dillon, as sheriff, wanted the bad guys to get out of town–Dodge City, Kansas–he didn’t mince words. Just get out of Dodge.
It’s come to mean getting away from the familiar, the homey, the known. Time for a little adventure.
For me this summer, getting out of Dodge feels like a breath of fresh air. Not that I don’t love home. But sometimes getting away from routine and what I’ve created as my normal is a good thing. We have the great fortune, every other summer, to get out of our Dodge for two months. To relocate to Colorado for training and development with our organization.
I love this kind of Dodge.
Life becomes a little looser, less structured. Minimal. We pack up a few things and live without the clutter of home. Space is limited, and things just don’t seem as essential.
Of course, for Colorado, with it’s emphasis on all things healthy and the environmental hardliners, less always seems best.
Truth be told, I needed a change of pace. A change of venue. So many things had happened that felt heavy. I was emotionally drained. A bit of a waste of space. I’ve yearned for a breather; not in activity, but in heart, mind and soul.
I’m internally pooped.
So being here amidst rugged mountains and sprawling fields–and a darn sight less humidity than Orlando–feels glorious.
We all have times when we’re drained. When there’s nothing left. No margins. No reserve. No capacity. And it’s not feasible to expect a respite in the mountains or a vacation getaway for the purpose of putting ourselves back together.
God gets that. He knows the world we’ve remade in our image is a dark and messy place. Hard and hurtful. And He longs to give us the rest we need.
“The Lord is my Shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength.” Psalm 23:1-3a
Rest isn’t a place. It’s a relationship and state of being. God loves us lavishly; His heart is for us to experience His peace. His calm.
It gives Dodge a whole new meaning.
How do you find rest?