Temp Shift into Neutral

From my HyVee* Fortune Cookie: “Getting away for the weekend will help clear your mind.” It also told me to learn Chinese.

Ok, let’s do it. I like road trips, but where can we go to escape? Can I take my laptop, phone and briefcase? If I get away, who will mind the store? Will we miss something important on the news or Facebook? Twitter?

The possibility of getting away is thin. We’ve found a couple of alternatives to a road trip that will take our minds off the madness:

A talented man leaves city life to build a cheap cabin in the Canadian wilderness. There are three years of his life and projects on his youtube channel. He doesn’t talk much, just takes us along to fish, build and grow things all without power tools. It is a way to “get away for the weekend.”

“My Self-Reliance” https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIMXKin1fXXCeq2UJePJEog

My niece spent a few days with friends in Tennessee. She said they visited 15 coffee shops. That is my idea of a weekend away. I like coffee shops more than coffee. The ultimate coffee shop is Starbucks at Barnes & Noble—and I’m not thrilled with the coffee, but the blend of the smell of books and coffee is a trip.

If you are a fan of Andy Andrews or have read Traveler’s Gift, you know the prime character named Jones. Several of Andy’s books feature him. You need to know that Andy Andrews is marketing coffee. It is named, “Just Jones Java.” Price is competitive—(kinda!)—and is now available. Wise marketing!

I really miss going to coffee shops to read, pray and observe people. I haven’t been to a coffee shop since March or April. To feed my addiction, I make coffee, find a parking lot where I read and drink coffee. It gets me away from my desk and the alluring cable news channels. I said this a month ago and it is still true: The encounters I have had with God have been in those times talking/listening to God while reading Joel Salatin’s book The Pigness of Pigs. I can pray and cry out loud “Oh, Lord!” in the car while that wailing makes baristas uneasy—curdles their cream.

The other day I read descriptions of commercial food farming—chickens, cattle, pigs—and I was driven to prayer. I know why I react to PETA. I also know how difficult it is to get public attention for the ethical treatment of animals. “Don’t mess with my burger!” But PETA makes a point the Church should be declaring. Salatin is a Jesus Follower and conversant with the Bible teaching as applied to 20th Century needs and technology. I don’t think the Creator is pleased with how we allow or demand such appalling treatment of animals headed to our dinner table or drive-thru. The Creator has invited me in to glimpse how stewardship is about soil as well as souls.

I have also been stimulated to think outside my usual zone by his blog—“Musings From a Lunatic Farmer.https://www.thelunaticfarmer.com/blog/

A blog last week convinced me of the benefit of renting forests and public lands to farmers who will graze cattle, hogs, turkeys, chickens there to offset wildfires while enriching the soil.

Not going to get away for the weekend; probably won’t learn much Chinese, but I plan to flush toxic stuff from my mind and listen, contemplate and write God’s words into my journal.

©2020 D. Dean Benton

Not a farm boy. A liker of flowing water, good soil, nurturing souls and healthy food.

*HyVee—the Midwest’s food store where there’s a smile in every aisle.

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