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The Silent Retreat

Unplugging for this ancient practice
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Day Three: Sitting on the dock before breakfast, waves, warmth, seagulls, and quiet. It is perfect. I can feel the newly picked wildflowers pressed between the pages of my journal. Abba, when I am back in the world of too many options, please let their deep violet color shout to me of this sweet time of solitude with you.

In Sacred Rhythms, Barton writes, "It is not easy to create this kind of space for attention to the deeper dynamics of the soul in God's presence." My friend Melody told me, "With all that was going on at work, I was afraid I wouldn't get to go. It even seemed that Satan was putting obstacles [in front of me] as I drove to the retreat - I have never experience such traffic in my life! Yet, the more I felt deterred, the more resolute I became in attending."

Our friend Rosemary added, "As the date approached, I really didn't want to go. Something that I wanted to do came up that same weekend, so I was torn. Yet I wanted to fulfill my commitment. Then I even had a little fender bender on the way. Apart from the fact that I would be able to hear (hopefully) God's voice a little clearer, I could also rest and be alone with my thoughts. I have realized that if I would practice solitude regularly, I could manage the hectic-ness in my world better."

Once we arrived, we found it took some time to transition. Melody said, "I was physically tired and wanted to sleep. As a Type-A do-er, I fought with myself over the first 24 hours, trying to ?maximize' my experience versus just resting. Unfortunately, this led to a feeling of restlessness. When I finally allowed myself to rest, I found I was more open to enjoying my surroundings and actually felt more connected to God."

My friends and I can't wait to go back. So join us next year, as we plan to Twitter about our experience during the weekend away. You know I'm just kidding, right?

April17, 2009 at 5:09 PM

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