“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” Søren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher and theologian
I had somehow forgotten I had a garden until the moment we turned the corner toward home and it came into view. Such was the power of a time of retreat that even this — this raucous gathering of blooms and butterflies — had left my mind for an entire five days.
Completely. There was not one moment of wondering, “Did my husband remember to water the ferns?” even though I spoke to him daily. I did not think of blogs or interviews scheduled before we left so as not to miss upcoming writing deadlines or when there will possibly be time to shop for school clothes.
It’s true. Such is the power of retreat, particularly a retreat in which our daughters and I were so occupied with an oddly spiritual mix of games of red rover, soggy clothes and prayer that everything beyond what was happening outside the church camp grounds simply slipped away.
Thank God! How we needed that time apart from the news and daily life, even the joys of daily life. We were removed — not in spa-like self care or even quiet scripture reading and prayer. We were removed in a throw-your-heart-and-hands-in-line-with-God way. And, we were renewed.
If you have the opportunity to take such a break — particularly a church retreat or a mission trip that engages your body, mind and spirit — I urge you to take it. Seriously. Try it. You may come home zombie tired on the body level, but you will have a better understanding of life past. You will look at the problems of life present with a holy dose of “whatever.” You will have hope to head forward into life tomorrow.
New. New. New. Hope. Hope. Hope. He’s just that kind of God.