Retreat - what's the purpose?
16 March 2011 - The Archbishop's Second Lent Reflection follows...
Do you ever find yourself sitting in front of the computer waiting for the web page to open and find yourself thinking 'O come on! Hurry up!' Or getting frustrated waiting for the kettle to boil because you want to get on with something else.
Today 'faster' is seen as 'better' and 'taking time out' is just a form of laziness. If we are not doing something then we are wasting time. And yet nothing could be further from the truth.
In the Ten Commandments, God tells people that they should have a day of rest. But rest is about more than inactivity, it is about restoration and re-focusing. It can be very tempting to fill even our leisure time with activities that wear us out. Have you ever had the weekend shopping trip where, having trailed around the shops looking for nothing in particular, you end up getting home more frazzled than when you went out? Are the things that we are doing to refresh us genuinely restorative or are they just as wearisome as our working activity?
A retreat is more than just a time of doing nothing; this is time that is to be kept holy. It is a time when we can find a restoration that comes from God. In spending time with God, we become more in tune with the priorities of His Kingdom and are then able to work out our own priorities in the light of this. And suddenly life seems less fraught, more purposeful and more joyful. Isn't that something worth making time for?
As the Psalmist rightly says: "My soul truly waiteth still upon God: for of him cometh my salvation. He verily is my strength and my salvation: he is my defence, so that I shall not greatly fall"
(Psalm 62:1-2 From The Book of Common Prayer)
Loving God, refresh us.
Healing God, restore us.
Mighty God, remake us.
Gracious God, renew us.
H/T His Grace, as I copied and pasted this from his own website