It is finally hitting me as I am sitting in DTW right now. I ended up going to Chicago yesterday for the Sunday Celebration and I just arrived this morning. I am currently waiting for another flight and something inside of me is loathing all the traveling. When I was a bit younger and I started to travel, things were pretty exciting going from one place to another. Now, the excitement phase has waned and I am just longing to be home with my family.
The statement, “familiarity breeds contempt,” is true in this situation with all the travel.
I am going away for a personal retreat.
It took me about 4-5 years into our church plant in Ann Arbor to realize that I needed to go away for an extended period of time to pray and seek the Lord before the new season of ministry started. For various reasons, I felt an increasing sense of tiredness and even emptiness after each academic school year. I normally went on missions throughout the summer therefore it kind of numbed some of the things that I was feeling. But when August rolled around and with all the preparations needed for the new school year, I started to lose sight of everything.
It was from this momentous realization that I have been able to get away to spend time to be in God’s presence. I am thankful for my family and the church who have allowed me to get away. They have realized it is for the sake of my health and the health of the church that I go away and spend concentrated time praying.
Usually during these times, God lays various burdens and gives specific direction for our church. It allows me to be in solitude and hear God’s voice. In the past there have been some great insights and revelation from the Lord. I am praying that this time will be no different.
I am reminded about how Jesus, the Son of God went away to a solitary place to pray. I have come to the conclusion that if Jesus, who was perfect, had to get away, then surely an imperfect and flawed person like me needs this time to seek His face.
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35).