Give God a day’s worth of one-on-one time with you, and He’ll turn it into a week’s worth of impact. Several times a year our staffers take a paid day with God, and several times a year God dollops blessings on us. If it’s been awhile for you, leader-to-leader I challenge you to put it on your calendar and get ready to put your feet up.
When I know there’s a paid day with God coming, I start anticipating it a few days in advance. I often get a sense of how God may want me to spend the time, but I don’t chart it out – wanting Him to lead. We encourage our staff to picture it as a day with their heavenly Father – simply being with Him and enjoying life together.
Every retreat day with God is different, but to give you an example – here’s how a recent one played out for me:
I’d purposed to watch a sunrise each week of the summer, so I got up early for my third one. It was as serene as the other ones were bold. Layers of clouds lingered at the skyline, so the sun peaked and hid as it rose – seeming to rise more than once. Hmmm… like the plurality of God’s new mercies each morning.
Back inside, I filled my mouth with the tangy flavor of Hot Cinnamon Spice tea and my mind with the meaty truth of God’s Word. I looked up verses we’d read at board meeting the night before. That led me down a fun Google trail to research a ministry-related allegory we’d discussed, and I emailed my findings to the board.
I opened my journal and wrote, “There is absolutely NOTHING like a day with You. Nothing like the anticipation of togetherness, of enough time. Oh, the gift of time when it’s ample. Oh Papa, thank You for teaching us these ways of Yours.”
After breakfast, it was back outside – this time to Speedwell Forge, a small lake near our house. The sun was already hot, so I opened my beach chair at the water’s edge and stuck my feet in. I laughed as an inch-long minnow found the courage to approach my ankle and take an imperceptible bite. I sat, savored sights, sipped on lemonade, and snapped photos – a red-winged black bird, a clump of flaming orange wildflowers, a cluster of silver silos. I pulled out pencil crayons and sketched the watery expanse. Shades of blue and green swirled across my journal page.
After lunch, an unexpected cloud drifted into my mind. It had loomed on the horizon of my soul for a few days, but I hadn’t had time to investigate it. So I delved in, cried out to God, encountered Him as Rescuer, and reveled in the Word – where He’s been famously rescuing His children since Eden.
With a renewed heart, I put my hand to a creative project I’d started a few weeks back. I was repainting my jewelry box in honor of my dad, who went to heaven two months ago, and my mom, who’s been there for 29 years. Dad lived in the woods and loved native white dogwood trees, and Mom loved bleeding hearts. So I blended them together and sprayed the box with clear latex.
I pulled out my journal one more time, reflecting on the wonders of the day and the wondrous privilege of sharing it with my heavenly Dad.
Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—
how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him.
Psalm 34:8 (The Message)
“Give God a day’s worth of yourself, and He’ll give you a week’s worth of Himself.”- Lisa Hosler
How have you met with God during a personal retreat day? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.