Hi everyone. Rob here.
A few weeks ago I decided that it was time to get away. I had some writing to do and that was a good enough excuse to run off with God for the weekend. We needed some time together. Things have changed between us. I’ve been out of pastoring for 3 years now and this new path is only now starting to take some form. I tried telling God what kind of a path I’d like to walk on but as usual he had other and better ideas. I’m also now in my 50’s and I want to embrace that while still being hungry for more of God in my life. I’m less introspective, less religious, more open, more spiritual and more convinced of our need for Jesus than ever.
I believe that because our biggest need is to learn how to be truly human and only Jesus, the Son of Man, can teach us that. To be truly human is to be made in the image of God and reflect God to the world. We have a right relationship to creation that enhances both of us. We have a right relationship to other humans, loving them as people reflecting God’s image back to us. We have a right relationship with God, humbly asking for his Spirit’s help while also receiving the Father’s love into our heart – all this through the Son, who is God’s true image, and who we draw life and truth from.
I escaped to a cheap beachfront bach with a clear view of the water and the incoming weather patterns that threatened a storm all weekend. It was beautiful but also a bit wild. That sounds like God to me. No wonder I love it when the skies are like that. The unsettled weather is also symbolic. The world is in a very unstable place – politically, spiritually, naturally. We’re all a bit unsettled as we adjust to a post-pandemic crisis world. Personally, I’m not settled on a path yet and God and I are still figuring some things out, but I’m cheering up and the skies are clearing as I allow divine love to take its place in my heart. It was a good weekend. I even got some writing done.
The storm didn’t come to much but there was still an unsettled look to the sky in the morning, like it couldn’t decide if it was in a bad mood or ready to cheer up. A man with a rake was creating beach art as his grandkids played. Hardly anyone would see it but he would from his house up the hill. The sand was his canvas and he came out to play. Another man has his little ones with him. He’s barefoot and playful and you can tell his kids adore him. Happy Fathers day to that man. I thank those men. They remind me that God invites us to play, to enjoy him and his creation, to laugh with each other and to live freely and lightly as his Spirit leads us.
Retreats are necessary for us all I believe. You might not have 2 days but do you have 2 hours? Beauty helps but any quiet space is good. Journals are useful but may not be right for you. I like silence but you may need some music occasionally. If you’re going for a few days factor in some fun and exercise. I like to have a good coffee and good wine on hand but you may prefer a simple, more ascetic motif. The most important thing is to be open and curious towards God. Come with questions but no agenda about how they are to be answered. Come to slow down, to receive love, to worship and to pray. It is good.
Grace and peace everyone.