When I was a young adult my mom would tell me, “Stop and smell the roses.” A cute saying but for a young man with goals, I didn’t stop to truly listen – to smell that rose of wisdom she had just shared… foolish me.
Today, ( I do literally mean today – in 90 minutes I’ll be there ) our pastor has organized a solitude retreat. Why? Because, he is an awesome pastor and knows that we don’t stop and smell the roses. Jesus is a rose. I need to slow down and walk with Him and chat with Him, if I really hope to follow Him. My nature is to be running off on some side trail into the woods looking for the next big elusive thing. Jesus is waiting patiently on the path, for me to come to my senses and rejoin Him on the way.
I like how the early church was called “The Way” (Acts 9:2). It helps to remind me that the ultimate gift of heaven can begin today as we follow Jesus; The church – God’s people – follow the way, show the way by living the way. I would like to believe this why they were called “The Way.”
It has always been like this.
Consider the story of Abram when he left Haran. (Gen 12:1-5). A friend of mine was just reminding me of this story yesterday ( literally yesterday ). Abram didn’t know where he was going. He did know he was following the Lord as He showed him The Way. It wasn’t about the destination, because he had no clue where that was.
It is good to have goals, but it is important to remember that the journey in achieving the dream, might be the most important thing. We may never achieve the goal. We need to be okay with less than the outcome we desired.
Well, I am now back from my solitude retreat. It was good. I Listened and talked with Jesus. Slowing down reminds us its not about the destination, because we purposely set our goals aside when we take a break and spend some alone time with the Lord.
In my book Modern Parables for Financial Freedom there is a poem named Grow our Heart. I wrote the poem for Valentine’s Day for my wife Renee. The poem pictures a husband and wife’s project together as a dance. Learning to dance together becomes the key. Enjoy and see how it might relate to you.
Try reading Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. He discusses solitude as well as other disciplines.