EVERYONE needs to retreat at one time or other.
Retreat is not about giving up on anything other than our insane pace, chronic drivenness, surface-level superficiality, and hardness of soul.
To retreat is to reinvent the self and reconnect with our soul.
We all desire, need, and deserve reconnection time. To retreat is to reconnect with ourselves, through reconnecting with God, so our relationships will have the feature of connection about them.
If you crave time alone to bush walk out in the lavish environs of nature, then a contemplative retreat is for you. When you don’t want people hassling you anymore and you hanker for silence, reflection, and space, you’re a contemplative.
If you feel emptied of depth at the level of your mind, and studying is your thing, an intellectual retreat recharges you. You are not so much an ‘intellectual’ as someone curious to go to the cognitive depths — to be challenged in your mind. An intense Bible study is your thing.
When you feel charged up to serve, and especially if mission work is your thing, a change is as good as a holiday. To go and serve connects us with our personal entreaties of social justice. Serving people may not deplete us, but actually invigorate us.
Some true extroverts only feel truly engaged with themselves in the company of others; particularly if depth of relationship can be achieved. A relational retreat is something akin to a conference. It mixes rest with rapport.
Some people respond to mysticism in the way of the charismata of worship. To reconnect with the Holy Spirit and have spiritual awakenings is the charismatic’s idea of a great retreat.
All retreats are about reflection, depth, renewal, and change.
The best retreats match our personalities for renewal, and may well combine elements of the contemplative, the intellectual, service, relational, and the charismatic.
We all desire, need, and deserve reconnection time.
To retreat is to do soul maintenance.
Our souls need probably the gentlest of care, and to respond to our personal needs is the greatest favour of self-care we can do for ourselves which enables our work with others for God.
Taking a monthly retreat of a day out, to complement our weekly Sabbath time, is wise. To add to these times of haven with an annual or even three-monthly getaway is also recuperative.
Retreat is the way we safely advance in life. It is beneficial for our physical, intellectual, social, emotional, relational, interpersonal, and spiritual health.
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.