One of the greatest gifts the church affords me is three days at NEAUCE, the New England Association of United Church Educators, where I congregate with other church educators to network, generate ideas, learn, and most importantly REST and WORSHIP! I never fully realize how spiritually depleted I truly am until I step on the sacred ground of the Craigville Retreat Center. I attended a workshop on leading adult retreats. Our leader said something so “no brainer” that it was deeply profound!!! “If you want to be a spiritual leader, you have to have a spiritual life.” She went on to ask, “What is your spiritual life like?” (cluttered) and “Are you willing to have one?” (Yes!! But I can’t seem to get out from under the piles to get there!) She had us each write a prayer to express our interpretation of the following Psalm.
As a deer longs for flowing streams,
So my soul longs for you, Oh God
My soul thirsts for God,
For the living God.
When shall I come and behold
The face of God?
I’ll share my prayer with you…
Like a child wanting time alone with Mom,
I long for a one-on-one, God.
Lift me from the busyness.
Wake me from my slumber.
Place me on your knee
Tell me a story,
Help me to feel your presence and see your face again.
I guess you could say I’ve been missing my friend, God. I’ve been treading water so hard, that I suppose I feared that if I stopped I may sink. But you know what? I stopped on my retreat and I floated gracefully to the top. My lungs filled with air. Ahhh. Retreat. Sabbath. Yes, thank you. Amen!