That was the theme of my week of personal retreat. As I was driving to the piney woods of E. Texas, that line kept playing over and over in my head. Literally every distraction was cast away…no internet, cell phone available only for emergencies, no TV. It was all gone. In fact, I was the only one staying at the retreat center.
I went through so many thoughts and feelings leading up to this time. First, I was intimidated as all get out (I’ll talk more about that later). Then I was excited for some time away. Then, as I began my drive, I realized just how long 7 days was. It wasn’t like I was going away for a weekend. I was going for 7 days. By myself. This was a first, and the reality of it hit me like a ton of bricks.
Before I left for this time away, I had an epiphany about how I’m wired. These little realizations are so important for our growth and maturity along the journey of life. I realized that it’s extremely hard for me to relax in my own home. I couldn’t believe it actually. I strive to make my home a place of comfort and peace, a place that my family wants to be. I’m always doing something to make it homey…tidying up, cleaning, straightening this and that. I do that, because I like a tidy house, and also because it’s hard for me to be relaxed when it’s in disarray. But, I have kids, and as much as I make them help clean up their messes, there’s still lots of messes. I get into this mode of doing, doing, doing, and I can’t stop.
That’s when I realized this time away was so important. A personal retreat is about rest and seeking God. It’s about being and not doing. Maybe 7 days is too short!