Recently, Long Island Express Girl talked about how her journey to Mount Hermon shook things up in her soul. Sorted things. Righted things. Clarified. As a result, she's actually going to change churches.
Journeys can do that for us. Turn things upside down and sideways. Take us away, only to bring us home with a new perspective. Bring us to action.
In his book The Attentive Life, Leighton Ford talks about embarking on a second journey, along which we begin more and more to become our true selves, to discover the true End of our lives. We often need, he says, a spiritual jolt to start us on the second journey, to make us stop and listen long enough to pay attention to what God is saying to us. (p.139) As I thought about Long Island Express Girl, I considered that, in going away, she had experienced a jolt that got her to stop and listen, to pay attention.
In the past year this jolt has been for me, quite simply, going nowhere at all. Just my own back yard. And I'm going to write about that, as many of you already know.
But even as I prepare to write about that, I'm quietly stepping into a new place. Yes, I spent a year going nowhere to go somewhere. Now I'm thinking about the flip side. Going somewhere to go somewhere. I may not manage to do any of these retreats offered by the people at Laity Lodge (sigh), but I am feeling a nudge to step beyond my own geography to discover the true End to my life.
I don't know where you're at. Maybe this year you need to stay put in your own back yard. Or maybe you need to journey elsewhere. If you're led to take a journey, you might just want to retreat to Texas. The offer to win that opportunity might be all the jolt you need.
Photos of Laity Lodge provided by Laity Lodge. Retreat Logo and Banner design by L.L. Barkat. If you want to join the High Calling Blogs group writing project and share your thoughts about the issue of retreat, alert Mark Goodyear and link to Chris Cree where all posts on this theme will be featured.
LL's Retreat to Appreciate
Kathy's poignant Only the Strong Retreat and Surrender
Carl's enchanting and profound Sacred Ingress
Gordon's lull-you-into-longing A Listening Prayer
Sam's touching story Asleep I Sang with the Body of Christ
Robert's surprise meetings, body and soul: The Power of Retreat
Mary's simple thoughts: Retreat, Retreat, Retreat... at Home
Spaghettipie's brief but powerful time of Retreat
Heather's poetic thoughts on Retreating into Creation
Gerrard's persuasive 10 Reasons: Retreats, Why?
A. Anjeanette's thoughtful (as always) It's God Who Draws Us to Retreat
Brandon's climb to retreat: The Symbol on the Rock
JUST A NOTE:
Ted Gossard started a book club for Stone Crossings. I love his first post and the surprising place of his conversion! If you'd like to listen in or comment on the conversation, check out Stepping Stones-Conversion. It would also be great to hear your own stories of conversion. If you post on the topic, you could feel free to upload your story to the Zimbio Stone Crossings Book Club.