Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Men's Retreat Results

Last weekend I attended a men's retreat at our church. The 14 of us camped at Sycamore Ranch campground from Friday to Saturday afternoon.

It was great to be in the outdoors, especially this time of year. And while there were other people at the campground, the park was spacious and spread out enough that our group could be all by ourselves. I had brought my own small tent too, so I didn't have to listen to snoring next to my ear or step over anyone to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.

The majority of the retreat was spent in fellowship hanging around the campfire - talking, joking, and eating. But we also had a brief study led by our pastor, Brad. The best part of the retreat though, spiritually speaking, was having solitude time on Saturday.

The idea was to find an isolated spot and spend an hour and a half by ourselves. Since I didn't have a watch though, my pastor was going to whistle when the time was up. Well, I found a spot that was probably the furthest away out of the group, down an embankment by the edge of a nearby river.

The weather was beautiful, so I took off my shirt and shoes, wrote in my journal a bit, prayed, thought, reflected, and observed God's creation that was all around me. After a while, I started to get a bit restless though, so I decided to move a little closer to the direction of the campground, just for a change of scenery. Not too much later I heard my name being called, and I looked back to see Brad waving his hands from the path toward the campground.

Realizing the time was up, I began to head back. As I approached him, has asked me "You do realize it's been 2 and a half hours, right?" Actually, no - I had no idea. It did seem like a long time, but since I have never had solitude time like that before, I thought that it could have only been 15 minutes but still have seemed like a lot longer.

So I had 2.5 hours of time with just myself and God. And I never did find out if Brad had forgotten to whistle or if I just didn't hear him.

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