The weekend before Thanksgiving, the youth group went out to Hidden Acres Camp, a spot with little to no cell service near Kaufmann, TX for a retreat. We played games, rested, prayed, discussed faith and doubt, and built and deepened relationships. I love retreats! Of course, I love retreats because I like being with our teenagers. I get to work with some of the coolest, most interesting people in the world. And I love to see them rest - they hardly ever get a chance to do it in their routine lives - and connect with one another and with God. But I also love them because it is an excuse for me to retreat and I need it. In fact, I think we all need it. We all need time to give our undivided attention to God and to brothers and sisters in Christ. I suspect it isn’t just teenagers that struggle to find the time and space to intentionally rest with God.
I want to encourage you, in 2017, to make space for a retreat: 24 hours or more of time away from all that occupies our mind here to focus on prayer and your relationship with God and others. The Bible says that Jesus often withdrew to lonely places to pray. As disciples, we seek to follow his example of love, humility, and service. In 2017, let’s follow his example of retreat.