Gone are the days when I could wile away the hours playing my guitar; responsibility trumps making music. More than a hobby or profession, playing is a means to work out what I’m feeling when words elude me. With everything I need to do in caring for my elderly father and working with my wife to make a home for us, there is no more telltale sign of self neglect, than the dust buildup on my guitar. So when our wedding anniversary rolled around this year, I took my wife and my ‘girlfriend’ Roseanna* to Orcas island.
The ferry out of Anacortes to the San Juan islands affords many awe inspiring views as it weaves between the islands. Secluded on 80 acres, our room at the B&B overlooked a working sheep farm, from which the comforters in our room were made. Fresh eggs are collected and served for breakfast together with ripened fruit from the orchard. There is no television in the room; it is a place for rest and to reconnect.
For the first time in months, I wiped the dust buildup from Rosie’s headstock and shoulders and tuned her up to play. After running through several familiar tunes, Karen joined me on the deck over looking the pasture and I sang the song I wrote for our wedding. It was a restful 4 days and 3 nights on Orcas Island and we made several wonderful memories, while learning an important lesson.
For our last night on Orcas, we had dinner reservations at an upscale restaurant perched on the high bluff overlooking Ship bay. When we arrived, the hostess could not find our reservation and offered us a table outdoors. We took the seats offered, admired the sweeping view and examined the menu. As the waiter brought glasses of water, I made note of the cloud cover and asked my wife who is always up on the weather forecast, whether rain was expected.
She looked up the weather report on her smart phone and we began to fret. What if it rained? I glanced around and noted that we were the only couple seated outdoors who were not at an umbrella table. Still, our table afforded the best view, it was quiet and romantic. But it might rain. So we asked to be re-seated inside, where we had a table for two in the midst of a dozen tables, surrounded by dozens of patrons who grew louder with every cocktail.
We had a wonderful dinner to be sure, but there was no breathtaking view of the bay, no quiet and private moment where we might remember the blessings of knowing each other for 20 years, or sharing a kiss. The best we could do, was to take a selfie after dinner was over, from where we could have sat.
As we drove home, I began to regret our decision to move from our view table outside, not so much for settling for an ordinary table indoors, but that our decision was the result of fear and did not demonstrate our faith and trust for the Father who blessed us with the view table in the first place.
Is He not able to direct the wind and rain? To still the waves and part the sea? These are not just tales from scripture we’ve read, in the past He has showered us with rain when there were no clouds. He has given us brilliant double rainbows when we completed a prayer walk He asked us to make. There was a time when locked in a spiritual battle He made snow to fall thereby preventing my accuser from appearing against me in court.
While we enjoyed our dinner inside the restaurant, it did rain, briefly. The sidewalk was damp when we came out and the car was covered with droplets. But because we did not act in faith, we will never know whether the Father would have held back the rain on our behalf, to enjoy our wedding anniversary dinner while looking over the beauty of His creation.
ADDENDUM 06/27/2016. This morning, the Spirit brought Psalm 23 to mind: “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.” Indeed, the Lord prepared a table for us, in the presence of our enemy: fear; specifically the fear of rain. Such a piddling enemy to worry about. Yet that worry, that fear, caused us to walk away from the lovely table the Lord had set for us. Will we ever learn?
*Roseanna, or ‘Rosie’, is a 40th anniversary edition of the Larrivee L-09 acoustic guitar.