In a recent post, I wrote that as I was driving down a busy highway to the ginormous Mall of America, the thought crossed my mind that it would be nice to leave the fast pace of the big city behind and retreat to a cabin in the woods.
I was speaking metaphorically, so imagine my surprise when my long-lost friend, comedian Kristin Anderson, posted on Facebook that I would be welcome to use her family’s cabin. Wow. I lobbed Kristin a phone call to make sure she was serious, got directions from her husband John (founder of JDA Design Architects), and off I went on a two-hour trek into Wisconsin.
I got to the cabin in the evening as darkness was falling. It was a cozy, quaint little home away from home and a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of Minneapolis. After some reading, I turned out the light early and just listened in the darkness to . . . nothing. It was totally quiet, almost eerily so.
I drifted off to sleep but awoke around three o’clock. It was so quiet that every little sound set off subtle alarm bells in my head. I was reasonably sure I wasn’t hearing an intruder or a wild beast, but that element of doubt crept in and refused to leave.
Unable to go back to sleep, I got up to read a bit and fix something to eat. A little while later, I started wrestling with the big question: Should I or shouldn’t I? I decided I should. I threw on my winter jacket and headed outside. It was a quarter after five in the morning.
I had never watched the sun come up before. (Insert shocked gasps from normal people.) I wanted to make the most of my cabin retreat and figured that this was a perfect opportunity to commune with the great outdoors and finally witness one of Mother Nature’s greatest hits. It was a little chilly but I was determined to tough it out.
Funny thing about being a city boy in the country: an occasional rustling of leaves in the deathly stillness before dawn can be very unsettling. I expected to feel the peaceful bliss of serenity as I stood among the pines gazing out at the lake. Instead, each rustling bush activated my “fight or flight” instincts and my imagination ran wild. My mind was certain that each momentary graze against a bush was a rampaging bear or deranged killer . . . or perhaps a squirrel with bad intentions. It’s remarkable how similar those three things sound in the darkness of the woods.
Shivering, I tried to calm my runaway imagination by gazing up at the constellations in the clear night sky. One of the stars in the Big Dipper started moving; it wasn’t a star at all but some kind of light that was coming my way.
I instantly flashed to Flight of the Navigator and The 4400. Oh-oh, I thought, I’m about to be abducted by aliens only to be returned to Earth eight years later, much to the surprise of grieving relatives and a suspicious government. Or maybe the time-space-continuum-challenged aliens deposit me back on the dock a month before I left. Then I could be my own best friend!
Twenty minutes later, I wrapped the details of that story up in my head and noticed that it was definitely a bit lighter out. I looked around me. No sun. Now let’s see, the sun rises in the east and sets in the . . . or is it the other way around? Damn. I can memorize a hundred years’ worth of baseball history and statistics but I can never keep that straight. Not that it would have done me any good; when God handed out directional sense, I was off wandering aimlessly with the penguins.
Fifteen minutes later, it was lighter but there was still no sun and my feet were freezing so I abandoned my quest and headed back to the cabin. By no stretch of the imagination am I an outdoorsman, but even I didn’t think I could fail so miserably at trying to watch the sun come up.
Oh, well, I’m here for three more days. Maybe I’ll try Sunrise 101 again the night before I leave. I’m thinking I’ll have this whole “harmony with nature” thing figured out by then.
Three days into my retreat, I am indeed synchronizing with nature’s rhythms. Click here to read my update and see photos of the majestic Trego Nature Trail along the Namekagon RIver.
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ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
If you feel more stressed than blessed . . . if you have more confusion than clarity about how to live your beliefs . . . if you long to live a richer, happier, more meaningful life . . . you will find a wealth of insight and guidance in Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World.
Through God’s Eyes is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the only book that explains how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to daily life.
Readers everywhere are discovering that when you challenge yourself to look through God’s eyes, the world around you changes, and so do you.
Who will benefit from reading Through God’s Eyes?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to be.
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to.
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier.
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SEE EVERY MOMENT AS A GIFT
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Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.
• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders
Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!
THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER
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Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents.
Order it at GodIsLogical.com.
In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• How do you reconcile the “free will vs. Divine Will” conundrum?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?
Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent authors and thought leaders he interviewed. The roster of storytellers includes Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, Caroline Myss, Larry Dossey, Rachel Naomi Remen, Bernie Siegel, Dean Ornish, and Christiane Northrup. Sixty Seconds has been translated into four languages: Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories.
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Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.
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Here is a three-minute video introduction to Sixty Seconds.