Tomorrow I’m leaving early in the morning to go to a minister’s retreat in Iowa. The word retreat means to withdraw, to step away and go to a place of safety and seclusion. So that is what we are going to do. We are going to step away from the world for a while and go to a quiet place to rest and pray, to spend time in nature and in fellowship with each other. I’m hoping that it will be a blessed time where we can all find rest and nourishment for our souls.
I’m reminded of the time when Jesus said to his disciples, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
I think that Jesus still speaks those words to us today. Jesus knows how busy we all are and he invites us to go to a quiet place and get some rest. And sometimes we think that this has to be something special – like my trip to Iowa – where we drive far away and go to a special “retreat” time. But the truth is that you can find that quiet place right where you are.
Maybe you will have to get up a little earlier in the morning or stay up a little later at night. Maybe you’ll need to step outside of your house. Maybe you need to go to the park and sit by the lake. Or maybe you just need to just sit in your car for a while. But somewhere there is a place where – even if it is for five or ten minutes – you can find a quiet place of rest with Jesus.
Jesus knows how busy your life is. Jesus knows you are tired. So Jesus invites you to come away – by yourself – and spend a little time with him. And in those quiet moments of prayer and time with Jesus you can find the rest you need – before you go back to your busy life, to the noise that surrounds you, to the things that need to be done. And even as you step back into that noisy, busy world – you will find that you still carry in your heart the peace and the rest that you found in that quiet time with Jesus.