The word, “retreat” conjures up many memories for me, some good, some bad. For several years, organizing and planning retreats were part of my job, and I never felt refreshed or renewed afterward. Retreats became work, even after producing one wasn’t my job, because I was usually underfunded and often had to work off my scholarship by working part of the retreat.
OR retreats were so over scheduled with very little planned down time and breakfast at 6-7 a.m. that I had very little time to rest, relax, or reflect. Either way, retreat many different images come to mind when I think of retreats.
Last weekend, I attended a retreat that had no speaker, a very loose schedule, and the primary goal was to eat and relax with friends and commune with God in the midst of his beautiful creation. It was unlike any retreat I’d ever been on and instead of the usual retreat hectic pace, I paused instead.
Life is hectic for all of us, and time flies by in the blink of an eye. Before we know it, we’re wound up tighter than a spring and we need a break, a pause. I was at that point when I finally got in the car to ride 5+ hours out to Laity Lodge, one of the most beautiful places in the Texas Hill Country.
The weekend was spent with some great friends old and new, and I felt the tension leave me body as we drove in the riverbed up to Linnet’s Wings, where we stayed. I was up for 42 hours without sleep (that’s another story) but it was worth it. I went on a hike up to the top of a bluff, talked to strangers, relaxed, and paused to take in God’s creation. It was a wonderful weekend, and I take away from it many wonderful memories and deepened relationships.
This pause stretched me in ways I cannot describe, yet I come away refreshed and missing the time to relax with friends in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
That’s all for now. I’m sure I’ll think of more to share, but I’ll leave you with images from my pause.