|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Enjoy the journey by redeeming the time”
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: “Take a spiritual retreat”
Have you ever spent time in a monastery? I have not, but it is on my bucket list. I’ve read accounts written by other Christians who have gone to a monastery for a short retreat. 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 yet 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 Billy Graham’s time at Forest Home Christian Camp 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 retreat for a few days. Nowadays I sometimes rent a cabin in the State Park right here in our own county in Tennessee. It’s only twenty minutes from my home but it provides seclusion and quiet in a very beautiful setting.
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. That’s the purpose of a spiritual retreat – even if only for a few hours or half a day.
If you haven’t allowed yourself a spiritual retreat in a while, I encourage you to consider taking one soon. From time-to-time we all need a break from regular life to simply be alone with God.
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