|This month the Rest Stops will focus on the spiritual discipline of retreat. Many Christians throughout the ages have taken time away from the daily grind to find God. They retreat to a new location, preferably to a place with few distractions. They commit themselves to silence, prayer, fasting and/or other disciplines. The purpose of the retreat is not to isolate oneself from the world forever, but to take a short-term break from the world in order to find the enrichment and strength one needs to re-enter the world.
The first two Rest Stops are written devotionals reflecting on a silent retreat that happened in September. The third Rest Stop is a template plan for a spiritual retreat, and the fourth Rest Stop focuses on prayer stations one might use at a retreat.
REST STOP #1: Meeting God at the Arkansas River, Part 1
Several weeks ago I spent the weekend at a rustic camp with 30 college students for a silent retreatat the Arkansas River (pronounced Ar-kan-sas). We had a wonderful experience, being alone and yet with other people, being in nature and being right next to one of the most scenic river-ways in the Midwest.
There were only two problems. I was the leader and it was too hot.
As the leader of the retreat, I felt obligated to have a spiritual experience, to somehow go deeper with God, because, well, I was the leader. Even though I knew better and even though we all reminded ourselves that we cant twist Gods arm for the sake of the experiencestillI knew wed be sharing at the end of the retreat, and I knew how awkward I would feel if I had nothing big to share.
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