Thursday, July 22, 2010

Retreat With God

Retreat With God, Matthew 14:22-23
22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, NRSV
Dr. Richard J. Foster in ‘A Year With God’, makes the following statements.
Most of us probably live too far from mountains to climb one regularly to pray, but we have other ways to be alone with God. Sometime within the next ten days, build on your practice of daily solitude by taking an entire day or at least an afternoon to spend alone with God. If you absolutely cannot get away now, plan the time when you will do it, mark it on your calendar, and make a promise to yourself, to God, and to another person that you will honor it. It is so easy to let the rhythm of our daily lives carry us away. Remind yourself that this time alone with God will be to refresh and nourish you for the rest of your life, that it will not be time wasted when you could be doing other necessary things, but rather time that you need in order to get rest and direction.
Author and former executive Emilie Griffin writes, “When there is no time to do it, that’s when you most need to unclutter the calendar and go apart to pray. When the gridlock of your schedule relentlessly forbids it is the time you most need retreat. That is when your heart beats against the prison walls of your enslavement and says, ‘Yes, Lord, I want to spend time with you.’”3

You can take a solitary hike (up a mountain, just as Jesus did, if that is possible for you and appeals to you), drive out to a forest, or visit another quiet place. Another option is to look into staying at a retreat center for a night or an entire weekend. Take your Bible if you wish, but you may prefer just spending the time praying or talking to God. A good resource for preparation is Emilie Griffin’s Wilderness Time. But do not feel the need to plan too much; just remember that you are deliberately creating an open, empty space in which you can be found by God.

No comments: