Stepping away from the noise of our daily lives and into a serene place is the best way to hear our Maker's voice. I'd like to invite you to make the trek and experience what Utopia has to offer with me for a weekend during our Spring Retreat, April 7-9, 2017.
I am not sure why but it just seems to be a place for personal revelation -- an epicenter of heavenly downloads. Something unexplainable happens as I sit among the majestic Cypress that line the shimmering crystalline Sabinal River. The Cypress needles are dressed in their elegant autumn red. The scent of a chimney’s first fire stirs the soul and awakens some ancient emotion. The feathery cirrus clouds hang high above the v shaped patterns of the ushers of change. The caress of the long anticipated north breeze breaks the hold of summer causing it to drift ever further south to the lower hemisphere. It’s a new season…
Here is a Utopia Christmas tree. It’s my present to you since you can’t be here right now. I thought you would like it. Like me you long to be in such a place… to catch a glimpse of the daily “Obra Maestra” painted upon the backdrop of Utopia. This one left me breathless as I walked the Sabinal River bed. The peculiar silence offered a stage for this demonstration of awe. I watched as God’s brush stroke of colors caused the heart shaped ornaments to applaud in celebration.
We moved 12 times by the time I was 12. I had gotten tired of making friends only to lose them. So I began to hang out with my dog, Lassie, each afternoon after school. That was all my heart could handle.
It was a Sunday evening in early February many years ago. I had gone home for the weekend. I was attending college at the time across town from where my parents lived so it was not a major trip home. It was a chance to catch up with my parents, get my clothes washed, and have a few home cooked meals. I had gone to church with them that morning.
A few months prior to this day I had seen a beautiful young lady sing at church.
Our movie, Seven Days in Utopia, had come and gone from the theaters by early October 2011. So what was to follow? Well the first thing was distribution of the DVD. We wanted a quick turnaround so that the DVD could be in the retail stores by Christmas. We needed a miracle for that to happen. It was well into October and most Christmas marketing strategies by the major retailers were set.
I was the Sport Psychologist for the San Antonio Spurs. It was the week of the NBA Finals and the Spurs were in. They were playing for the World Championship. In my line of work this was seen as the pinnacle of success. I was looking forward to the experience but there was a dilemma.
Golf has many interesting terms for wayward shots. Duck hook, shank, slice, chunk, chili dip, fat, skank, are just a few. There is also the dreaded double-cross. While these others come as surprises to most, the double cross happens when we actually play for the ball to intentionally move in one direction but the opposite happens.
I thought I needed a publisher. I had just finished writing my first book, Seven Days in Utopia: Golf’s Sacred Journey. So I sought out a friend in the publishing industry who represented one of the most prolific Christian authors of all times. He was helpful getting the book in front of several major publishers. Their feedback was similar - we don’t have a category for a fiction, golf, sport psychology, men’s ministry book. They turned it down. There was no one in the industry it seemed that could catch the vision. It was a major disappointment.
When a movie is made, the final piece in the final edit is to create the score (background music). In essence the score helps meld the pieces together and helps shape the soul of the film.
As we were approaching the end of our edit for Seven Days in Utopia, our composer, who had been signed, sealed, and delivered, backed out because of a conflict with a bigger more important movie.