After the retreat

Recently I went on a retreat for five days. Well, it was really four days; from Thursday midday to Monday midday. The point was to get away and to make myself available to God without distractions. I expected:
  • that I’d have a chance to focus on some of the bigger issues in my life

  • that I’d be more focused on the priorities when I came back

  • that I would strengthen some flacid prayer muscles through vigorous exercise

You’ll notice that there are no expectations of God in there. Two reasons for that. The first, lesser reason, almost entirely intellectual, is that I believe, of course, that God is Sovereign. God, being God, can’t be expected to conform to my schedules and show up when I want him to and in the way I expect of him, just because I’m on retreat. Prayer, even prolonged, passionate, and thoughtful prayer, is incapable of manipulating God and making him do what is required. I know this. It’s a simple truth.

The second, more powerful, emotional reason is that I hate having to make excuses for God when he doesn’t show up! I want him to be there, but when he doesn’t seem to be present, I feel let down and foolish and afraid that I don’t have enough faith or I’m not good enough or maybe God isn’t good enough or even real and so on…

So I went with the expectation that I would achieve some things, and that I would experience some things, but nothing specific about God. What actually happened, however, was something else…

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