The fishing was lousy. And yet, the peaks were still drenched white. It was beautiful. The streams were full to overflowing. The weather was warm-ish. I can promise you there still is a sun up there, beyond the overcast and drizzle. My naps were long. So, yes, we had a great time fishing and resting (more resting than fishing) in Mammoth last week. I slept a lot. I guess we were tired. But at my age, when am I not?

Coming back from the Eastern Sierra is always a trek. It’s like coming back into an area of cell phone service when you haven’t had any cell service for a while. Boom, you are reconnected to the world. It’s not a bad thing. It’s just a different thing. Because we belong to families and work and enjoy a church family — the phone can go crazy sometimes. It’s only the contrast of getting back into it all that can be jarring.

It’s exactly what Jesus faced in the passage in Matthew 17, the one Ken preached last Sunday. Back from the desolation of Mt. Hermon and the thrill of the moment of transfiguration to the crowds, where there was this big need. The stress began again quickly. Boy, we’ve all been there.

The challenge is to make transitions smoothly, but that is not always (or often) possible. Getting away recharges life. Getting back can drain life. Getting away is a little more fun than getting back.

The week ahead is no time to lay around either. It’s Vacation Bible School (VBS) week, which is sort of obvious. Hallways are clogged with things to help children learn. There’s some sort of costume in my office which I guess I have to wear one day this week. Mums the word on that one. Most of the set is up in the Worship Center. Life is just a little odd today. Odd is a good way, without a doubt.

Tomorrow the campus will be filled with laughing and noisy children. I will love it. They will be full of energy and hopefully willing to learn some Bible stories. We have a crack team ready to share God’s love with each child. It should be a great week ahead.

We all need to get away. We all have faced the contrast of the peace away with the noise of being back with the crowd. A few days of rest can be ripped to shreds with an hour on the 405. Have you noticed? My goal is to take that refreshing experience of being away and use it to recharge and refocus my energy on family and work and kingdom. I don’t want to forget those moments of “transfiguration,” but let those moments point me back to a God whose plan is so much bigger and grander than my puny plans and problems.

Contrasts will come this summer. Don’t let the contrasts get you down. Keep looking to Jesus and the opportunities He provides to us to serve Him. Enjoy some time in God’s creation. Refocus your life on Jesus and His kingdom. And then don’t be surprised, when you land, if that focus is tested. Listen to Jesus. Walk with Jesus. Keep your eyes on Jesus.