Retreat isn’t a word people like to use too often. In fact I was watching the Patriot with Mel Gibson last night and there is a point in the movie where he grabs the American Flag and signals the troops to push forward instead of retreating. So retreat can often be a symbol of failure.
In the Christian world we use the word retreat for several different things but usually for a weekend away with a bunch of other people. The definition of a retreat is to pull back from your normal routine and reenergize your soul spiritually. At a typical retreat you listen to a bunch of teaching and fill the rest of the time hanging out with the people. You usually come back exhausted. We really shouldn’t call these retreats but instead call them conferences because we are just swapping our busy lives for a busy weekend.
This last week I got to really retreat. Over the last seven months I have been working like crazy on the church. Most of the time I was doing that while still working full time at CCSM. So when Toby was born on Wednesday up in SLO I got a hotel room nearby the hospital instead of driving an hour each way everyday. What this provided me was a time spent away from the everyday life with nothing to do except enjoy my new son and wife. The Grandparents had Caleb and Allie which was an extra bonus.
What this did was take my mind off of my normal activities and give it a break. All we did was sit around and watch Toby sleep. Very refreshing and energizing. I came back home recharged and ready to take on the upcoming challenges. We didn’t think about the church and I did very little work. I am going to incorporate something like this into my year every year so that I can be fresh and energized to do what God has called me to. I encourage you to do the same.