“I got to get away!” I know you’ve heard it. You probably even said it a time or two. We all need time away from the everyday routine of our lives. It’s physically and mentally healthy to have a break from what you do day in and day out. It’s also healthy for our souls. One way we can refresh spiritually is through retreats. They are a chance to get away and focus on Jesus and growing together.
Last weekend, I got the opportunity to get away with the middle schoolers and grow spiritually! We had the Affirm: Life Confirmation Retreat. Here we had 43 youth, 9 adults and Caroline Targonski, our Youth Director, and myself. We went to Lutheridge and stayed in cabins. We got to do all the fun camp stuff: games, hiking, crafts, group interaction course, and s’mores! These activities are just good for the soul. They get you in the fresh air; they get you talking and playing with your friends and soon-to-be friends.
We also had time to focus on our spiritual growth. At this retreat we focused on “Who are we?” In our first teaching session we talked about who God is, and we looked at the creed and how God reveals God’s self as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Then, we looked at who we are; we explored some people of the Bible and discovered how the world sees them and finally how God sees them. Then, we finished by talking about what it means to be a Child of God. We talked about how we are first loved by our God and given a light to go shine in the world!
We had a great time playing, laughing and learning together!! We bonded over s’mores, games and funny skits. And we saw the Spirit move in and among us. This is something that is harder to do in the busyness of our lives when we’re so focused on other things.
You may be saying, “This is great Pastor Melody, but I’m not a teenager anymore! I’m not going to sleep in bunk beds and go through hikes in the woods!” I’m not saying you need to fight bugs in order to grow spiritually, but you do need to set time aside for you and God. Retreats are a great way to do that. We offer several retreats just for adults throughout the year, even some that are just for the day (No sleeping in a bunk bed!) Lutheridge also offers retreats to help you get away from your everyday hustle and bustle.
If you can’t have the retreat experience, God still wants time with you. I’m going to say that again because it’s so important…God…wants…time…with…YOU! So, I’m challenging you this week. After reading the Bible for a few minutes, sit and just be in the presence of God. Taking this time will help you get away!!
Prayer: Awesome God, our lives are full of things to do and places to go. Give us time where we can focus on you. We need time to grow spiritually and live in the arms of our Savior. Help us to make this time and carve out a few moments where you are the main focus. AMEN
Mark 6:31 New Living Translation (NLT)
31 Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.
Psalm 46:10a New Living Translation (NLT)
10 “Be still, and know that I am God!