Sounds Like…

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Tyler State Park – isn’t it beautiful?  Even in the dead of “winter.”

I spent my next-to-last Saturday in the States with the girls I’m going to Impfondo with on a silent retreat in the woods of East Texas – and it was a beautiful day.  It was quite chilly in the shade, but the apricity!  I eventually took a little nap on the shore you can see in the top right of my picture.  I can see that animals have got that whole sleeping in the sun thing figured out.  But… it took me a while to get there.

It seems like the hardest part of going on a silent retreat is making being silent yourself.  I was thinking, “Okay, God.  I’m here, and here’s what I want to talk about today… UGH, why can’t these people be QUIET?!  I’m on a silent retreat!… Sorry God... Okay, I need you to talk to me about my final project, and about my testimony… and this… and that…”

I eventually walked all the way around the lake, settling for a time in two spots.  Once by a beaver’s dam, where I got frustrated because I didn’t see a beaver.  And then on the shore that I ended up napping on.  Both times, my Bible’s pages blew open to Ecclesiastes 4-6.  So I read them.  Twice.  He never told me about the things I wanted to talk about, at least not in the way that I wanted to talk about them.

So, in all my hours at the park, here are the things I learned:

  • It’s better to wear a sign that says, “I’m on a silent retreat, so that people you pass on the trail don’t look at you like you’re crazy and quicken their pace when you blink at them after they say “hi.”
  • If you keep opening your Bible to the same book, maybe you should read it.
  • Expect to hear God, but don’t put Him in a box on how He can speak to you.  I wanted to see a beaver, but never did.

Fasting. . . From Thoughts.

The Thinker - Dan McKay

Photo Credit: Dan McKay

Here’s a thought: have a month fast from thinking any critical thoughts.  The trick is to just not entertain the thought at all.  Just as soon as it enters your mind, push it out.

I’m starting…. today.  This is probably going to be a lot tougher than I think, but it will be good to get over being overly critical before I head to Congo.  

So, are you going to join me?