Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Half-Hearted Retreating

Just about to head off for our annual staff student retreat. They are usually good things. We get to spend some open time together, hear from leaving students and then pray for each other. But we are also supposed to be retreating. This never quite works for me. I usually end up reading, sleeping or listening to music. I do pray a bit. But not much. Thing is I find most retreats a bit disappointing. They tend not to do it for me. I rarely feel I connect with God in any way different to when I'm at home about my usual routine. My sax teacher reckons it's cos most retreats I go on are too short. I think he has a point.

He was telling me last night that he's been in touch with a Zen master ( my sax teacher's not a Baptist) who reckons he too is due a retreat. We put the Route 66 improv on one side for a while and talked about retreats. He reckons that for him (and many others) the retreat thing only really kicks in round about the third day. Most of my retreats are done by day three.

I'm sure that's partly why holidays tend to do it more for me than retreats. I hardly ever come back from a week or two away without some new insight or fresh excitement. Even when I'm not hunting them down they tend to sneak up on me just because I've taken the trouble to stop long enough for the voices to cease babbling.

Conclusion? This God thing takes time. I for one need to give it bit more. But what to stop?

1 comment:

Angela said...

I completely agree! If I ever DO manage to get away on a retreat, I feel morally obliged to "get something from it" - but on holiday, when I am NOT under pressure is when I find God speaking in the most unexpected places. However, it's usually my better half who does the retreats. As the Pastor's wife I stay home and hold the fort and fill the pulpit - and feel perversely guilty if I am the one who gains some new spiritual insight here, when I think it ought to be him away on his retreat!