The past couple of weeks have been extremely busy and highly productive which makes the fact that I write this from a lovely garden cottage, removed from the familiar routines for a few days, all the more delicious. Ahhhhh…… Funny how it takes concentrated effort to make myself relax. I love that this particular schedule includes hours of time to be still and enjoy the surroundings and I am determined to do so. Just earlier as I had time alone before dinner, I found myself automatically thinking of all the things I would be doing when I return home. Really??? Stop! Be here. Now. It will all still be there when I get back.
I was thinking about the word “retreat”. Defined in a military sense most often, it brings to mind images of soldiers turning back, running away from the battle lost, hoping to survive, regroup, and come up with a better strategy to defeat the enemy. The definition in a Christian context is a reflective time for prayer and meditation with the goal of reconnecting with God at a deeper level. I find both definitions applicable for me today.
I have a wonderful business where I get to take things of sentimental value and turn them into keepsake items. It is very rewarding work which fulfills much more than my creative desires. It blesses those who receive the pieces which is an even greater reward. Long hours at the sewing machine day after day, however, can make my back muscles so tight that it actually hurts to relax. Several nights lately I’ve lain in the bed for a long time before sleep could come, just waiting for the muscles to give in to the comfort of my pillowtop bed. The work was complete, but my body wasn’t willing to release the tension.
While my everyday life isn’t outwardly filled with conflict or difficulties but is actually rather simple and easy at this time, I find that I am still struggling within. I’m not relaxing. As I prepared the message I will bring to the ladies over the next couple of days, God gently began to uncover the roots of some of my tension. My mind made the excuses as to why those things are still there, why I had been unwilling to release them. This did not deter Him. It is time.
It is time to pull back, having every hope of survival, regroup and find a better strategy to defeat the enemy. Time to look deeper into the work He has finished. Who knew when the leaders selected the theme for this year’s retreat that it would speak to my heart: Keep Calm and Armor On!
Perhaps you need to retreat. You may not have the opportunity to get away to a secluded location, but He is waiting right where you are. Take some time to reflect. Pray. Meditate. Reconnect. Walk with me over the next few days and let God uncover the source of the struggles. We’ll find a new strategy and face the enemy with renewed confidence.