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In Search of Wanda (Pt.1) or Thoughts on a Pastoral Retreat

We never really found her, but in our quest for Wanda we discovered each other and the God who had made us. Wanda became the focal point. She symbolized in a comical way the five day journey of seeking God, discovering one another and traveling the darkened paths of our souls that we rarely traverse.
Wanda, we were told, held the key to the map. In order to obtain the map we had to find Wanda. But she wasn’t to be found. The map came to us from another source. This was typical of our journey together. The depths of our relationships with one another grew from different sources. Sometimes from previous painful experiences. Other times from present day struggles. Many times from the joyous interaction of ourselves with God.Our twelve hour trip north from Orlando was accentuated by many moments of concern for one another and the congregations that Jesus had entrusted to us. There were times of refreshing humor and a knitting together of our God given relationships with one another. There is a verse in the Bible that tells us that laughter does us good like medicine. We found at times it swept through each of us like a tsunami washing away the excess baggage that had attached itself to us. We found humor in each others strengths and weaknesses; in the situations that we occasionally found ourselves, and in others whose culture was polarized from our own.A curious oddity of north Georgia is the scorpion. We found many during the week. They usually surfaced in the basement of the cabin. I thought of their position in Scripture as a form of judgement from God. Even though the area is incredibly beautiful all is not perfect. It will never be perfect until the final kingdom is established. In the meantime we check our shoes.

When I think of Helen, Georgia I will forever think of Samuel Adams. Samuel brought both controversy and liberty into our lives that day. We were divided over whether one should have fellowship with Mr. Adams. Two of the brothers received a Corinthian freedom that sunny Wednesday afternoon that produced a mild confusion in the hearts of the weaker brethren. Samuel spoke of questions yet unanswered throughout the great theological debates of yore. Bottoms up to ya, Sam. May we one day fully understand!

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