Fwooosh. Splash. Whirrr.
Gentle ocean breeze, waves breaking on the sand, lounge chair under a big umbrella, cool drink of water, tea, soda, or lemonade, clear blue skies, dolphins playing in the surf, temperature a constant seventy-five degrees, doesnít get any better.
Rustle rustle. Trinkle trinkle.
Sixty-eight degrees, light breeze, autumn sun filtering through the tall pines and oaks, changing leaves floating effortlessly to the forest floor, walking through the splendor of Godís creation, doesnít get any better.
Pencil, paper, computer, keyboard, Wordpad, and thesaurus, doesnít get any better. ďErrt. Back up a minute. Chilliní on the beach I understand. Taking a walk in the woods I understand. But what in the world do pencil, paper, and a computer have to do with a retreat?Ē Hold on Iíll be getting there.
Wife, mother of three teenage boys Ė one of whom has his driverís license- homemaker, fulltime employee, youth Sunday school teacher, choir member, furthering education, doesnít get any more hectic that this.
Should go without saying that sometimes I would like to retreat in every sense of the word. Militarily: I want to turn and run the opposite direction from the daily fight to a place of safety. Spiritually: A few days of games and Bible study are a great pick me up. I could use a spiritual retreat once a week. Physical and mental rest: Thereís another biggie. Some days I think I will do a total melt down if I canít put my body and mind to rest if even for a few hours.
God commanded us to take a day of rest because He knew, before He created the world in all its fullness, we would become busier than any worker ant; that our lives would get so full that our plates would spill over and, if not careful, break.
My ideal retreat is a cabin in the woods or time at the beach. Unfortunately I do not have the option of taking off whenever necessary, just like everyone else. One way I like to escape the daily battle is with a good old movie. My favorites are the movies with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. I also like a good World War II movie. Itís amazing how relaxing a good old movie can be. Quite often I fall asleep. Good rest for the mind and body.
I know. I know. None of this explains the pencil, paper, and computer. Well I will enlighten you. My all time favorite retreat is writing. There is just something about putting words together that refreshes me. Perhaps it is because I can put myself in another time and place when writing fiction or maybe it is that I can express my emotions in poetry. Writing commentary allows me to vent my views on world woes. Song lyrics and music help me feel closer to God. Through a childrenís story I can educate. More than likely the reason writing is my best retreat is that when I am writing I am being true to the calling God has placed on my life, I am being a good steward of the ability He has given me to use for Him.
Before God began creating He knew humans would become busier than any worker ant. He knew our lives would become so hectic that our plates would spill over and, if not careful, break. That is why God commanded us to take a day of rest and keep it Holy. Sadly we do not truly take a Sabbath. We take Sunday as our day of rest, but we tend to fill our Sundays with so many activities that we are fortunate if we can catch a quick nap. As for keeping it Holy, regretfully for many, after church is over, God is put back on the shelf until the next Sunday.
It is no wonder that our society has gone so far astray. Without weekly rest for our minds and bodies and time to focus on God our thinking, reasoning, and responding become skewed. We need the Sabbath and to keep it Holy to prevent us from becoming like the world.
My goal is to get my life, with the Lordís help, free of the useless busyness and settled into a healthy routine of remembering the Sabbath and keeping it Holy.
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