I sent you an e-mail last week telling you about my plans to take a 2-day retreat after Staff Conference. Thank you for your prayers for that time. I want to share about what a great time it was.
Last week immediately following National Staff Conference I felt the need to take some intentional time off. I had many new things on my mind after a week of my vision expanded, and I also really needed to rest. I decided also to fast from all food and drinks (except for water) for two days as well.
I spent my first morning in two hours of silence – reflecting, praying, reading Scripture, writing response and sitting quietly. I read Jeremiah 29 and meditated on the call I’d heard at SC’11 – to commit to the good of the campus and see beyond chapter work. It was a very restful time.
When I awoke the next morning I was quite physically weak from fasting. I thought to myself “Wow, after just one day of no food, my body is so weak. How much more so my soul when I don’t have scripture or prayer on a given day?!” This really reminded me of the need to be resting and meeting with the Lord each day in prayer and scripture!
As I entered my second 2-hour retreat of silence on Tuesday, especially in light of my hunger, I reflected even more on my dependence upon God’s Spirit to sustain me. That day I read about Mary & Martha (Luke 10:38-42). This was also really convicting. As I looked back over my fall schedule I realized how many times I like Martha was “worried and upset about many things.” Yes there were things and “preparations that had to be made.” But if “few things are needed — or indeed only one” then I, like Martha, had to account for my posture of busyness.
But more than just convicted, my very restful and life-giving retreats of silence also gave me a renewed hope and eagerness to have daily times with the Lord. More than just two good 2-hour blocks of silence, they really served to reawaken my devotional hope. That whole week saw more good devotional times each morning and I’ve started this new spring semester with scripture nad prayer each morning. Instead of having devotional time elsewhere, I’m giving God the first slot in the day. And that, unlike the preparations or busyness or work, “will not be taken away.”
Thanks again for your prayers. More than just expanded vision, God has reignited my devotional life this winter. And that is certainly the first and foremost thing.