June 25, 2018
In this morning’s Fruit of the Vine, Andy Henry writes about the “paradox of retreat, or any kind of contemplative practice.” We need a break in the rhythm of our daily lives, so we seek time away – space for rest. For people who serve or minister to or work with other people, retreat is an opportunity “to get away from the crowds and the many needs.” But it’s not because people or people with needs are bad (or bad for us). According to Andy, “The mystery of contemplation is that when we withdraw from . . . people, our eyes are opened to their true condition and our true work.”
Jesus invited his disciples to go with him “to the other side of the lake” (Luke 8:22). During the crossing, there was a squall. Then, when they successfully made it to the other side, they were “met by a demon-possessed man from the town” (v. 27). “The peaceful retreat planned by Jesus and the disciples did not go according to plan,” Andy writes, reminding us that many others have written about similar experiences in ministry. “Henri Nouwen said that he used to complain about all the interruptions to his work until he realized that the interruptions were his work.”
Time away is an important space for restoration. Time away can give us perspective on the work we’re getting away from and strengthen us for our return to it. Time away can also get interrupted.
Andy writes that God enters the space we make for God and gives us “what we need but not always what we expect.”
How are you making space for God in your life? And how are you preparing yourself for God to give you what you need, especially if it’s not what you expect?
Fruit of the Vine is the only daily devotional by Friends for Friends. We’ve been gathering and sharing these personal reflections on Scripture for more than six decades. Personal stories, from real people, every single day. I’m convinced this little quarterly is the best way to welcome folks into the larger family of Friends.
The first printing of Norval Hadley’s memoir – Going the Extra Mile: Adventures with God in Seventy-Five Countries – ships from the printer this week, and we expect to have copies available by a week from today, four days ahead of schedule. Click on the link above to pre-order your copy!
Seeds of hope – the three-year campaign to fund the ministry of Barclay Press by developing new titles, supporting small churches, and balancing the budget – has a goal of raising $162,000 by December 31, 2020. In order to stay on target, we need to get to $34,859 by August 1, 2018. As of this morning, we have raised $26,960 in gifts and pledges.