Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Sabbath Rest”
Our Bible verse for today: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” Psalm 42:1-2 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Plan a spiritual retreat”
Have you ever spent time in a monastery? No, neither have I. But actually, it’s on my bucket list. I’ve read accounts written by other Christians who have experienced a short retreat in a monastery. They tell of how after a period of settling in and getting used to it, they found the seclusion and the profound quiet to be very peaceful and soothing, and they have had significant encounters with God in the middle of the quietness.
I haven’t had that experience in a monastery, but as I’ve traveled around the world I’ve always enjoyed visiting some of the magnificent cathedrals found in places like Cusco, Peru or Budapest, Hungary. There too you can simply sit in the quietness, gazing upon the beauty of the artwork and the architecture, and soon a sense of the awesome majesty of God begins to envelope you. It’s really a very moving experience.
For most of us a spiritual retreat doesn’t involve monasteries and cathedrals. Instead it’s usually more like some time spent at a Christian camp, such as Billy Graham’s time at Forest Home, which I told you about in a previous devotional in this series. Or, a retreat like that can occur in most any setting that affords some seclusion and quiet. When I lived in the desert on the California/Arizona/Mexico border twice a year I used to go to a cabin in the Laguna Mountains which separate San Diego from the desert. It was over 4000 feet in elevation; it was isolated; and it was rather beautiful. It was a good place for a two or three day retreat.
Psalm 42:1-2 paints a word picture of a dry and dusty soul yearning for a cool refreshing drink of the Living Water. It’s a picture of a quiet and serene setting that renews, refreshes, and cleanses. This is the purpose of a spiritual retreat, just for an extended period of time.
If you haven’t treated yourself to a spiritual retreat in a while I encourage you to do so soon. I know, I know, you’re busy. Or you think you can’t afford a retreat. Or, well, give yourself enough time and you’ll come up with a dozen excuses. But the fact is that from time-to-time we all need that time away from regular life. We need a spiritual retreat. I encourage you to take one soon.