Wednesday, October 22, 2008

An Invitation to a Retreat (2)

It is more than rest that Jesus receives in his retreats. He also gets wisdom. “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles…”(Luke 6:12-13). These twelve men will transform the world and brings God’s plan of redemption to another level. The wisdom comes from being in the presence of God. To achieve this type of wisdom needs trust.

For us, a spiritual retreat requires trust in the Holy Spirit. A retreat is not like a church camp, a conference or a vacation- where activities may be planned in advance and we know the agenda (mostly to have a good time, hopefully to learn something). In a retreat, we do not know what God has in store for us, but we are willing to take the risk to find out. We participate in confidence that the Holy Spirit is entirely trustworthy and will never lead us to harm.

There is a need for us to persist in Scripture reading, journal and prayer even though the silence and solitude frightens us. In a group retreat, there is a strong temptation to flee the presence of God into the company of friends where it is safe and comfortable. To engage in idle group gossip takes our attention from having to be silent before the Lord, and the discomfort of the work of the Holy Spirit on our souls. However it is to our good that we persist. The Psalmist says,

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."

Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. (Psalm 91:1-4)

It is in a spiritual retreat that you have the time and opportunity to discover who you are, and to whom do you belong. That is wisdom indeed.


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