Can you keep a secret? Good. I need help. This message has nothing to do with any of my secrets. Rather, it’s an inquiry: what is your secret to securing time for a quiet retreat? To allow yourself time to take a break from the daily pace in your life-race? How do you rejuvenate your essence?
This got me thinking and I asked my dogs “How are my friends taking time for self?” In return, they offered me adoring eyes with wiggle butts and just sat there waiting. Staring at their adoring eyes it dawned on me. It wasn’t an “ah ha” moment. Rather an “oh hey, duh!’ I then asked them a question I have asked a thousand times: “How did Jesus take a time out every day?” He may not have had the same concerns as we have in modern day, but He was in the public eye all the time and had tons to be troubled about. He was a human with the demands of that time. There are many examples of how Jesus took time to recharge, especially surrounding major events, throughout the New Testament.
“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’ He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’ ” Matthew 26:36-38 NIV
He was intentional and sought out solace for a variety of reasons. From this passage, we gather He wanted to pray because He was filled with sorrow. But He also wanted to be with His Father, and He desperately needed respite from the troubles that He faced. Other, more obvious, reasons for reprieve would be His need for sleep, food, and shelter and don’t forget He had close friends He loved to hang with. I bet sometimes He just wanted to be Jesus, as Himself. Makes me a bit weepy when I consider the demands He dealt with every hour.
Here’s my dilemma.: It’s extremely important to me to avoid overscheduling. In my realm, this means carefully considering what to say “yes” and “no” to. Thankfully, my husband is the same way. He affectionately refers to me as the “CoE”, as in, the “Center of Everything”, in our home. And as the appointed CoE, I have made a practice (my boys call it an obsession) of managing our family’s calendar. This feeds directly into my love for organizing. I try to block time for pretty much everything! Uhm, Maria….Jesus stopped everything and took the time.
If you know me socially or personally, a fair depiction of me is that I am an extrovert—gregarious and sociable. However, I am not that entirely. My oomph comes from being by myself, in the Word and with Jesus. My heart delights in this time. Unfortunately, I fall short, bigtime, when it comes to making and/or taking time to just be me, in the quiet, with Him. The struggle is living in the lie that I tell myself. Reality is, there is always one more task and I can’t seem to get out of my own way. I’ve been a believer half my life and I am familiar with the” how to.” I simply don’t know how to at this particular juncture in my life-race.
Whatever your personality or time management style, I know for a fact Jesus’ example is possible. We have heard time and time again “take time to exhale, disconnect from the hullabaloo, and inhale the quiet.” It is to our benefit when we set aside a time for prayer, allowing ourselves to re-center and focus our heart, mind, body and soul on Jesus, before facing whatever comes next.
So back to my question: “What is your secret to securing time for a quiet retreat?” If you are following His example and have honestly figured out a way to STOP and BE, in the midst of your daily life-race, I would be forever beholden to you! Kindly take a minute, or two, and share.
Thanks friends. Y’all are the best!