Personal Retreats and National Holidays

Today we celebrate the blessing of living in America. I’ve been to enough places in the world to have a little perspective on how great this blessing is while constantly pushing against the entitlement mentality so rampant today (in and out of the church). Most of us did not choose to love here but were blessed to be born here.

I’m writing this from my hammock where I will soon check out of all things social to spend much time with Jesus in the beauty of creation. I have in recent days rediscovered the place of the personal retreat as a vital part of my own sanctification. Holidays can offer a great time for personal reflection, devotion, and meditation. Not all of them; Christmas can be a bit hectic with family and so on, but days like the 4th, Labor Day and Memorial Day offer times to set aside for Jesus, to sit at His table and fellowship.

So, I rode my bike to our beautiful Joyner park and hooked up my hammock in a private spot in the woods that has become precious to me. I will read Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians all at once and then reflect and journal on them. And I will lay here quietly, something my ADHD struggles to do. I will refocus my mind from the real issues in our nation and the outrage I often feel, reminding myself instead of the wonder of our great salvation so undeserved, at God’s great grace toward an outrageously sinful man like me.

And I will rest. Sabbath. I do not do this because I spiritually superior or strong, but because I am a needy man and weak. Christ is our strength, and I need to be reminded.

I hope, especially if you are a hyper-driven type like me, you will take time to rest at the table with Jesus. It may be the most important thing you do.

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