Last weekend we had our annual silent retreat. Yes…silent.
We gather together on Friday night, catch up on some visiting, and then enter silence with a worship. We stay in silence all day Saturday, and come back out with another worship Sunday morning following a service of the Lord’s Supper…a personal experience with God yet also in community.
It sounds so difficult to some people who are convinced that remaining silent this long is almost impossible. Yet what we find is that coming back out of silence Sunday morning is probably the more difficult part of the weekend.
We spend so much time in noise…and because we (and our environment) are so noisy, we don’t hear the still small voice of God. We find ourselves stressed and rushing from one event/activity to the next, yet never being able to fill the hole in our souls.
It takes most of Saturday morning for us (me especially) to begin to slow down, to understand the importance of just “being” rather than worrying about “doing.” I sometimes find myself walking around the lake as I’m beginning the calming process because I feel like I should be doing something…and just sitting and listening doesn’t always feel like anything other than wasting time.
But “wasting time” in sitting with God is probably the most important thing I can do. It provides the foundation I can build on to have good relationships with others, to accomplish the tasks I need to, to get a sense of those things that are important in my life.
We do this once a year–and every year as we get close to time, I get more excited about the retreat. It is my oasis…the place and time where I am refreshed and renewed.