I’m the sort of person who doesn’t mind going to a movie alone. That’s weird I know, but then again so am I. All of the voices inside my head get along pretty well most of the time so the occasional time alone is positive more often than not.
My new preaching gig graciously allows me to attend some sort of conference each year, but since nothing particularly appealing fit into my calendar and since I never really had a chance to reflect prior to jumping from one job into another, I opted for a personal spiritual retreat this year—retreating today and returning on Friday. I suspect that I will talk to a person or two along the way at a restaurant or convenience store, but the plan is to spend time alone in silence. Listening to the sound of stillness. Meandering on a couple of scenic runs. Praying and meditating. Reflecting and planning. Dreaming. Preparing my mind, heart, and soul for a new year (as our church family marks time) that is rapidly approaching.
Utah is my chosen destination, partly because I have never been, partly because it is far enough away and yet not so far either, and partly because of a landmark there that may or may not have something to tell me about the sermon series I intend to deliver in the fall. We’ll find out soon enough.
We are all different. For some, such a week ahead may sound like torture, but I am almost giddy with excitement. Who knows what might emerge when I get away from routines and responsibilities, meetings and appointments, emails and notifications long enough and far enough to take a deep breath and truly listen?