Here’s what my quiet times often look like here at home: I sit down, open my Bible and perhaps a devotional, then start to pray. Sometimes I make it through my entire prayer without thinking about the laundry, or dishes that need to be done, or mail that needs to be sorted, bills to be paid, etc. Sometimes those thoughts don’t invade my mind until I’m into my reading.
Please tell me I’m not alone in this kind of scattered attention during my “quiet” time! It seems my mind is anything but quiet.
So when my friend Judy Knox invited me to a spiritual retreat she was putting together, I was interested. I was even more interested when learning it would take place not far from my home, in a seminary I already knew to be beautiful. I was aware they offered retreats, but I’d never checked into going on one until this perfect opportunity was given to me by my friend.
I talked it over with my husband, arranged care for my disabled son, then packed my bags with clothes and books suitable for the occasion and off I went! Everything fell so easily into place that I knew I was headed to the right place at the right time.
As you can see, the accommodations are straight out of a minimalist handbook. Exactly what I needed to keep distractions at bay! My first thought when my knees hit the floor to thank God for the opportunity was how many others had prayed in this room, how many others had sought a word from God just as I was doing.
I found the silence refreshing, so different from home where my son and I are often in a competition (albeit good-natured) to see who can make the most noise. God also blessed us with perfect weather to walk around the lovely lake, where I found it so natural to praise God for the many blessings He’s given us.
It might be easy for some to find this kind of solitude in their own quiet home, or to sneak away to a hotel for some alone time. I say whatever works! For me, enjoying a place that has been a hot spot for communication between man and God for so many years was a crucial part of my experience. St. Mary’s on the Lake is a Catholic seminary, but they offer self-directed retreats for those of different Christian denominations, like me. Between the chapel and the private rooms (including a private bath) and the lovely setting, it was truly a memorable experience that reminded me God really does want to spend uninterrupted time with me!
And I’m certain He wants to do that with you, too, no matter where you spend it. 🙂