Spiritual Retreat

Tomorrow my family goes into the Missouri wilderness for a spiritual retreat. We, and by we I mean I, have some very specific hopes and expectations of our spiritual retreat in the next few days. As I plan for these next few days I have wondered what the purpose of a spiritual retreat is. Mentioning our plans for a spiritual retreat to friends the typical question that comes back is “What are your plans?’

I can’t help but wonder if having plans for a spiritual retreat is not counter-productive. Don’t get me wrong. I have a plan. I mean, there are certain topics I want to visit and linger over. I have a plan for some time alone – and to give my honey the same. but if a spiritual retreat means to avail ourselves to God so that we can hear him with more clarity and be energized then too much planning can become the enemy to the cause.

Why do we go away when we do spiritual retreats? It does not have to be out-of-town, but to go off somewhere is a given when you speak of a spiritual retreat. Why is this? Because we are acknowledging that there are things in the  busyness of the day that are distracting. We are acknowledging that we need to remove distractions so that we can focus on God and his will for our life, whatever the topic. Distractions are not just telephones, computers and television. They don’t have to be books or other people. They can simply be the way we conduct ourselves. Getting up in the morning so that you have no time but to throw on disheveled clothes and brush your teeth as you walk out the door is one example of how personal conduct can be a distraction. Though not to this extreme, I think if we are not careful in how we plan our spiritual retreats then we will find they are simply a different version of distraction.

Of course, the point of a spiritual retreat, at least from a Christian perspective, is that you are making yourself available to hear God’s plan, not your plan. It is counterproductive to assume you know what his guidance will be. It goes against the point, doesn’t it. Are you there to tell God your plans or hear from him? All this to say that my plans are to for the most part to be still, to be quiet and to wait upon the Lord…

…and not blog until Friday. 🙂


2 Comments to “Spiritual Retreat”

  1. “It is counterproductive to assume you know what his guidance will be. It goes against the point, doesn’t it.”

    Very true Iz, very true.

    I’ll be thinking and praying for you as you venture off into the…wilderness? 😉

    Enjoy your time with our Redeemer.

    • God works in wonderful ways. As I was typing those very words in a coffee shop waiting on my van to be fixed (never was even after eight hours of waiting) God had a meeting for me at the very next table. Spent at least three hours to talking to others about Jesus. Very cool.

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