Visit to the Garden of Eden
I need to start by saying I’m not really a fan of California. The place scares me, to be honest. Earthquakes. Crazy drivers. All of the great minds that come up with reality television programming. Scary stuff, right? Still, I’d like to believe that when God created the Garden of Eden, it looked like Southern California, primarily the area around San Diego, Carlsbad & Oceanside. Between the perfect weather, green scenery and the laid back demeanor, I’d like to think that God created SoCal specifically for me to chill out.
This past week, I took my first vacation with my family in almost 2 years. It was just what I needed. After a beautiful Sunday Liturgy, I went on an hour long horseback ride with my 7 year old daughter. It was an incredible memory that neither of us will soon forget. On Monday, my family and I went to SeaWorld. We saw the dolphins and polar bears. We even got to pet a turtle. But the best moment of the day was after taking my 4 year old to the Shamu show. Because of the large crowds, I had to carry her out and within minutes, she was asleep in my arms. And for the next hour, she slept in my arms, completely at peace and rest. Later in the week, my 1 year old also took her afternoon nap laying on my chest. I even found time to just chill out and talk with my wife, reconnecting with her without having to talk about work or bills or adult life.
My family and I went on vacation to get out of the Phoenix heat, but what I found was my own Garden of Eden – my sanctuary where I could be in communion with my God and the beautiful people He has put in my life. I went looking for rest and came away with my batteries completely recharged. I needed this. We all need this. We all need to have an opportunity to escape to a place, whether it be figurative or literal, where we can be strengthened and renewed. It’s going to be a little while before my family and I can escape on a weeklong vacation again, but I know that the next time I need my batteries recharged, I can take some refuge at our local Adoration chapel. Or make sure that I get to an extra daily Mass. Or simply spend some time in prayer at home with my family.
Despite the Earthquakes (we did experience a small one), crazy drivers, and television executives, I’m a Blessed and rested man. My hope for all of you this week is that you take a few minutes in prayer and communion with God in your own Garden of Eden.