Today I’ll be heading out to an area Dominican center for a silent retreat put on by a couple of local churches of our denomination, including our own church. After the maelstrom of another quickly passing week, and just trying to survive, this may be a welcomed experience. The last and only time I attended this, it was not easy during the time, though overall I rather enjoyed it. But I was surprised by the new sense and freshness of life which I had afterward.
I still remember that time with appreciation. This time Deb won’t be there with me. I remember sitting with her over a delicious meal at lunch time, no one saying a word. We can write, read, prayer walk, whatever, both inside and outside there. But we can’t speak for a time short of eight hours.
Life is so full of words. And I’m a word, and therefore often a wordy person. This is a time to be silent so as to become more aware of God’s words to us, of what God might be saying. Perhaps people like me who so often are full of words especially need times like this. God is speaking, and is at work in our lives. The question is: Are we attentive? Are we open to what God might be doing and saying to us? Are we learning to live accordingly?
This kind of event hopefully can make a difference in helping us to a new way of life. Events mean little or nothing to me if they don’t move us to that. Of course events in themselves are special and need to be so. After all a good event is meant to be a life changer, or more accurately, move us in the direction of life change. And growth in what is good, in the grace of God in Jesus.
So I anticipate something good out of this. And since it’s from God, I also anticipate it being different this time around, and in ways I may not get very well at first, or for a time. The essential thing is that I am open to whatever it may be that God is trying to get across to me. Or to his working, even if I don’t get what is going on. A fresh sense of God with other people in Jesus present. That Jesus’ Blessing might rest on us for the Blessing of the world.