The Sanctuary

By Michael Temple

Photo by Dreamstime

The word “retro” might be the way that someone would describe it, but with the funky wallpaper and mustard yellow countertop, most people would call it ugly. To the ordinary observer, it’s just an old camper mounted on the back of a (somewhat) newer Ford pickup. To me, it’s a place of quiet solitude where I can get my thoughts together, spend time in prayer, or read a book without being pestered by phone calls, emails, or relentless texts.
 
It would be difficult to rightly call this place a “sanctuary” with its blue burlap-covered bench seating and overhead single bed, but it’s as close to that description as anything I’ve encountered. It has a distinctly 1970’s look, and perhaps it is this that soothes my nerves and takes me back to younger years when life wasn’t so hectic. When I hop up on the tailgate of that old truck and open the door, I can almost feel the stress melting away. 
 
"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed" (Mark 1:35, NIV).
 
"But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you" (Matthew 6:6, NIV).
 
There’s just something about being in a quiet environment that brings an amazing dimension to my spiritual life. Jesus chose a solitary place to be with His Father; and although He probably wouldn’t have chosen an old camper, I still enjoy the idea that God meets me where I am. As strange as it may sound, I almost always leave that funky retro “abode” with a deeper connection to the Almighty…and that has immense value to me.