God is at Home

Kimberly Broerman Meditations
Vacation with GodMarch 18, 2011
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One of our friends pokes fun at me, affectionately dubbing me a "retreat junkie." Seems like every time they invite us to do something, I'm on retreat, getting my "fix" so to speak.
I can't deny it. I do love going on retreat. There's something about it--leaving behind your daily planner and structure, unplugging from all the machines that keep us connected, and going elsewhere where you can soak in nature and silence and Presence, whether in solitude or community--that restores the soul like nothing else.
It's not that God isn't present to us everywhere and all the time. But, as Meister Eckhart reminds us, God is at home; it's we have who have gone out for a walk. We can get carried away with all our responsibilities and distractions, so overstimulated with all the noise and interference, it is difficult to tune in. We sometimes have to get away on retreat, to get with the God who's been with us all along.
It's not unlike other relationships in our lives. They need tending. We go through the motions of our days- completing tasks, engaging activities, discussing plans with the people in our household, our workplace, or our social circles. But spending time around people is not the same as spending time with them. Beyond passing in the hall or working side by side, we still need to set aside time on a regular basis to square up, look in each others eyes, and really attend to the person before us, the love and concern between us. Sometimes, it takes getting away from everything else, going on vacation, to get that quality of time with one another.
So we might think of a retreat as a vacation with God. You vacate your regular life so you really focus on your relationship, really see and hear one another, and so you can receive the rest and wisdom you need to re-enter that life with renewed vitality.
After all, God doesn't just want your gifts and service; God wants you - your love and affection, your rest and delight. So I invite you to hear the invitation of the Divine Companion . . .
Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. (Song of Solomon 2:10)
Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest. (Matt 11:28)
Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while. (Mark 6:31)
. . . . and turn down the voices that tell you there's no time or you have more important things to do.
When's the last time you had a vacation with God? Might it be time to put something on the books?



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