This weekend was the first of back to back retreats for me over the next two weeks. Next weekend is a writing retreat. This one was our churches mens retreat. Whether it’s for writing or other purposes, a lot of people ask what the big deal is about getting away for a few days. Can’t we accomplish everything we need to by staying where we are?
Treats are things I give to my kids or when me and my wife do something special together. We could eat at home, but we treat ourselves to something a bit nicer just to enjoy one another’s company. Based on that definition, it’s not something we have to do, but it sure is nice.
But something else comes to mind when I think of the word “treat”. One dictionary states that it means to give medical attention to someone. As a Christian, I frequently need spiritual medical attention. If I had a physical condition that needed treatment, it would be foolish to ignore that right? Yet, we often do just that with our spiritual conditions.
Part of the reason I find getting away to be so important is that my spiritual weaknesses or conditions need to be re-addressed from time to time. One Pastor I know said that we need to be recharged because we leak. Our natural bodies decay if we don’t take care of them. Why would it be different for our spiritual health? Getting away for a few days to focus on that helps me to re-treat my spiritual condition – to address issues that I might normally ignore or overlook in the busyness of life.
This weekend, our theme was 2 Timothy 1:6-7, “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
God has created each and every one of us to know Him, and He’s given all of us something to do. Oftentimes, through disappointment or difficulties, we can become jaded or hardened in trying to fulfill those tasks, and the flame that one blazed in our heart dies down to a tiny spark. When Paul told Timothy to stir up that flame in his heart, I think I’ve usually thought of it as tightening your belt and getting back to work. This weekend, I learned something a bit different.
Isaiah 42:3 states, “A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench.” Jesus is the one that fans the smoldering flame in my heart. As I draw near to Him and fall more in love with Him, He rekindles that passion to do what God desires me to do with my life.
While this had so much more to do with my personal life and ministry as a Pastor this weekend, I thought it might encourage some writers out there. Sometimes our writing becomes all about getting that agent or landing a book deal, and we forget why we write in the first place: Because God created us in such a way that we love to craft stories. Yes, we have to work hard to get our stories in the hands of readers someday. But maybe it’s time to re-treat your heart and rekindle the passion for why you write. Some of us write purely for pleasure. Some of us write because it’s who God made us to be. Either way, isn’t it worth the time to get away for a bit to draw near to the Lord and let Him fan that passion in our heart?
All of us don’t have to go on a retreat, but all of us should take time to re-treat our hearts and minds so that our flame can burn bright and strong Have any of you gotten away lately to let the Lord fan the flame in your heart?