Tonight at 6:00pm we begin the first of our Spiritual Formation Retreats. 12 of us will spend the week-end reflecting on what it means to be a child of God while making space for God to speak to us in ways that our schedules don’t often allow. I have a deep conviction that times like these are necessary in the spiritual life. What Jesus draws us to is deep change, and when we live our lives on the surface we often can’t even see the areas that He wants to transform.
So we get away. We make space for silence and reflection. We read the text, pray, wait, and listen. We allow the questions that we want to avoid to stand beside us and wait for our answers. And what will be the result? Only God knows.
There’s the problem for me. I want to know. I want the week-end to be a time that each participant looks back to as a pivotal point in their journey. I want bang for my buck, return on investment. But the truth is that God will do what God will do, not perform for me what I want from Him. That means that on the retreat I am leading I too am a participant. I have to let go of what I want and let God probe around in my life in the areas that He wants to touch. That may look like “success” or it may look like a royal waste of time. Either way the goal is to make space for God to do what He wishes. That’s the pathway to “becoming” what God has made us to be. With Him nothing is ever a waste of time.