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Guiltless Pleasure

By January 7, 2013August 30th, 2022Devotional

Janet and I were able to find several days to get away to the Greenbrier here in White Sulphur Springs, WV so we are relaxing in front of the TV and sharing a cup of coffee. We will leave here Wednesday morning and be home in the evening, ready to head back to the grind on Thursday morning.

As you probably know, we travel out here several times each year and, invariably, I am asked by my friends what draws us here; or what we do when we keep coming back to the same place. After all, it’s a large country and there are many terrific resorts. But rather than try something new, Janet and I seem to find ourselves heading back here. We even have a favorite suite here – Room 4179. And that’s where we are this trip. Back in a familiar resort, in a familiar room, with a familiar view of the front entrance and grounds.

It’s kind of like our home away from home. Except in many ways it is different. Because we have a routine here. After arising and getting ready, we always head down to brunch in the main dining room. We sit in the same area, eat the same food and enjoy the routine of the day. Usually, we will head to the spa for a massage or soak during our visit here, but other than that, life is pretty lazy here.

Now don’t laugh – because most of you know that I am always on the go. I have meetings and clients to see – more things to get done than almost anyone I know. I am still writing emails at 11:00 pm and of course, I write a post most evenings as well. I teach a Bible study and try to find time to continue to learn. In other words, my life is in overdrive most of the time. Then, several times a year I turn to Janet and let her know that it’s time to get away, even for just 2 or 3 days. That’s when the Greenbrier gets the call.

Today, as we were in the spa area, a masseuse told me that throughout the years, the number one reason that people keep coming back to the Greenbrier is that it represents “guiltless pleasure.” Of course, I was intrigued by her comment and wanted her to elaborate. According to her, we live in a world with so many responsibilities and are always so busy, that we feel guilty when we aren’t going a thousand miles an hour. But here, life seems to stand still – things are much the same as they were more than 220 years ago when the Greenbrier was founded. The rhythms of life seem to go a little slower here. And for many of the regulars, this sacred space represents a place where one need not feel guilty about doing NOTHING. I never consciously thought about it in those terms, but I wholeheartedly agree. We all need a place like this in our lives.

For example, today I read more than half of a book I have been wanting to read. But I can’t remember the last time I did that at home. And even though I try to find time to take walks and clear my head at home, I really get a chance to do it here. In short, the only magic is exactly what Cathie said today – this is a place to kick back, and do exactly what you want to do – even if that means doing nothing… and not feeling guilty about it.

So, I don’t even know yet what tomorrow will bring after brunch. Could be a walk, or strolling to the Christmas shop, or visiting the artisans on Alabama Row, a succession of cottages dating back to the Civil War. Maybe I’ll head to the spring well, or take a drive up Kate’s Mountain to see the shooting range. Someday, Janet and I want to try the falconry. Nancy, my mother-in-law, did that years ago. But that’s not for me this trip. After all, I only have one more day here – in and out with only 2 full days here this trip – and I still have the rest of my book to read.

Already the time is slipping away. The verse tonight reflects the need to relax and rest every once in a while. I would love to find this kind of balance in all the areas of my life. So, short and to the point, here it is – Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” And that’s what we all need to do every so often – be still…

My encouragement this evening is that God wants you to have suitable rest and time to re-charge yourself. That’s why he instituted the Sabbath. After all, most of the time when we go somewhere, we want to see everything, do everything and we book ourselves back to back for each event we can push into our days. But that’s not what God intended. My prayer is that you will enjoy the rest that God puts into your life. And that you will use that time to commune with Him – the Creator of it all. So, at least for the next 24 hours, I intend to enjoy the Sabbath rest I have been given. And to all of you, have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

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