Image source: AnchoredInChrist
Life can be a continuous stream of activities, from the start of a new year to the end. We can find ourselves being so busy with work, family, Church, social life, entertainment – so much that we don’t have time for a private retreat. I don’t mean the Church planned retreat, which ends being a very busy time organizing and or participating in the retreat events for some Church members.
A private retreat is a time when you intentionally step back from the busy-ness; a time when you intentionally create a quiet space to go through your plans, purposes, achievements, and shortcomings for the year. The months of April, May, June are a good time to do this; to take stock and then begin to make the corrections required to have a fruitful year. It is not enough to be busy as a bee, we must monitor and evaluate ourselves if we are fruitful, productive, and faithful.
In Mark 6:30-32 (NIV) we read: “The apostles gathered around Jesus. They told him all they had done and taught. 31 But many people were coming and going. So they did not even have a chance to eat. Then Jesus said to his apostles, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place. You need to get some rest.” 32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a quiet place.”
Jesus had sent out the apostles two by two to go preach and heal the sick; they came back with exciting results to share; Jesus next move was let’s retreat, rest, calm down the excitement, revisit the vision. Reading further along this chapter, the crowd saw them retreat to a quiet place and followed; however, we clearly see Jesus taking his small team for a private retreat.
A private retreat is possible even if you are working a regular job; you could use your lunch breaks for a week to be by yourself in a quiet place, rather than with everyone else as usual; you could take Friday off work so you have a long weekend for a private retreat; you could do this in April and again in August, and quite obviously at the end of the year. A private retreat to take stock of your life, to reflect, pray, and re-strategize to move forward, is good for the spirit, soul, and body.
May the Lord show you the way in this matter, Amen!