Don't you wish there were urgent care facility for weary souls we could check in to now and then? I can just picture the staff at the triage center going through the checklist:
Busyness? Fatigue? Family issues? Work pile-up? Health malfunctions? Money woes?
Sometimes "all of the above" pile on top of each other like a pile of the old-fashioned pick-up sticks. At least that is the case for me and my friends. You too?
Sure, we can get good at detangling the demands from time to time—most of us have taken Coping Skills 101. But sometimes the crises outlast the cope. One set of emergencies flows into the next, and even the quiet days can be fraught with anxious thoughts.
Most of us are quick to reassure ourselves that some break in the schedule is just a week or two away. As soon as the kids are either out of school or back in, or the project at work is finished, or we take our vacation, or we get home from our vacation, or the renovations are done, or the paper gets turned in, or the campaign is over, then we can take a break.
We all know how that usually works out. A whole new set of circumstances is waiting in line—and the break gets put off once again for just a couple more weeks.
We might decide to go instead for a quick pick-me-up. Isn't that what the magazine articles recommend? I have a storeroom full of "tips to get through the day." But while a quick nap, cup of tea, chocolate (even dark!) or a browse through the mall might help once or twice, as a constant go-to are like taking an aspirin for a migraine.
Looking for a longer-lasting cure? Consider a personal retreat.
"A what?" you might ask. "What is a personal retreat?"
I like the definition Ben Campbell Johnson and Paul Lang offer in their book Time Away: A Guide for Personal Retreats: "Retreat is a temporary withdrawal to be renewed, to regroup and to find the strength you need to go forward." The personal part means you go by yourself. This is more than an afternoon free time at your church's annual women's retreat.
A personal retreat, aka a getaway with God, is like hooking up to an IV of grace and rest. Picture that image. Nothing is more restorative than spending a day with Jesus and feeling His love.
Getaways with God are not just for the "super spiritual" girls. In fact, if you want to go on a retreat just to get some time alone, that's OK. Don't confuse a retreat with a vacation, though. A retreat beckons you to snuggle up with God and let Him love on you. Save the shopping and movie watching for another time.
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