Batten Down the Hatches

Last summer Tim and I picked up an old sailboat from Craigslist. The sailboat’s name is inscribed on its side: SoulMate. Now, we don’t exactly know how to sail (which our friends love to tease us about), but we sure love trying and even just hanging out in the slip and motoring around Lake Dillon. Frisco Marina has become one of my favorite places to go be quiet and contemplative.
Today, I woke up insanely early and drove to Frisco to watch the sunrise from SoulMate. When I first arrived, it was 48 degrees. I had my hoodie up and I was bundled in blankets as I read, journaled, and prayed. But then it started to warm up, as it usually does, and pretty soon I shed the hoodie and looked for ways to hide from the intensity of the Colorado sun. And then, without warning, clouds rolled in, and a thunderstorm began. I scrambled to “batten down the hatches” before my laptop got too wet. Now I sit inside SoulMate, waiting out the storm, watching the billowing clouds, listening to the patter-pat-pat of rain, feeling the movement of the boat as the waves crash against its sides, and smelling that combination of lake+storm… I am happily and safely soaking it all in.
In life, weather can change so fast. Sometimes you’re doing great, full of joy and thankfulness, and then out of nowhere a wave of loneliness, grief or deep soul fatigue can overtake you. Other times, despair presses against us so heavily that it seems we are forever trapped, and a shaft of human kindness or natural beauty shocks us with hope. In every shifting season, God offers us himself as our SoulMate. Sometimes we have to intentionally batten down the hatches of our lives and hide with Christ in God. This can mean refusing to be too busy for daily stillness. It can mean steeping ourselves in Scripture or music or outdoor beauty or camping… or whatever nourishes us and reminds us of God’s deep and personal love for us. To live in the love of Christ is to live moment by moment, in season and out of season, in the knowledge of our belovedness in Him. God is our best SoulMate, the maker and lover and ever-present refuge for our souls.

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