There are many reasons that retreats are important! They help us to remove ourselves from the familiarity of our usual patterns or surroundings, to set aside time to get away with God in His Creation. Often at different points in life, one reason or need may outweigh another. However, there are always valid reasons, no matter what your season of life, that a retreat is very important to schedule, plan, and attend. Below are only four of them, and we think you could come up with many more!
Bonding Memories that last a Lifetime
Almost daily, we receive calls or visits from people who came here to Wafloy over 20, 30, 40 years ago. The joy of being a 72-year old retreat center is that we get to hear some of those memories shared by others. The bonds of these memories don’t just tie them to a place, but to a fellowship of others who have walked along a similar journey. We, humans, are created to commune with God and with one another. Spending time as a group, sequestered in an atmosphere of growth and vulnerability can allow God to move in lives. This will create bonding memories that go beyond the retreat event itself. Those memories and the impact of them can last a lifetime.
Everyone needs to Unplug and Refocus
It’s widely recognized that we rely upon our phones, screens, and gadgets to function in this century. And while some of them are useful tools, even to catapult Spiritual growth (devotion apps, podcasts, etc.) they often also have distractions that interject through that same tool no matter how hard we try not to allow the invasion. A retreat offers more real face to face time. A retreat offers more one on one time. A retreat offers more undistracted time to hear God’s Still Small Voice. Even if the tool of WiFi is available, community, fellowship and His Creation cries out louder in a retreat setting when we unplug and refocus.
Sometimes Daily Life gets in the way
To-do lists and deadlines are just a fact of life. We spend our time ‘doing life’ and often this life, like herding cats, can overwhelm our spirit with all the things (even good things) on our lists and calendars. Not to mention the things that jump on our plate without warning. Pulling away on purpose to retreat from life’s pressure or rut once in a while is a healthy way to balance priorities and seek His Wisdom to put things into a proper perspective.
Our Savior and His Disciples set the Example
“Jesus often withdrew Himself into the wilderness to pray” Luke 5:16
The Greek word for ‘withdraw’ means to retire, go back, to retreat. We read of Jesus calling his disciples away to retreat at a very volatile and possibly overwhelming point at the beginning of their journey. “When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida…” Luke 9:10 What is interesting is that just before being whisked away to withdraw, we read of the disciples informing Jesus of the beheading of John and shortly after this retreat together Jesus feeds the 5000. It is no coincidence that the Son of God Himself sequestered His followers to rest after hearing such devastating news. But also, to prepare for the faith-stretching and physically taxing calling of feeding 5000 people who were in search of answers. He knew that they needed rest to have the ability to feed that crowd. A miracle which helped to prepare the hearts of the crowd for the Words from their long-awaited Messiah! What an honor!
Both the Son of God and these normal human disciples needed to rest first and then focus – so Jesus Himself lead them away to retreat.
In whatever season of life you are compelled to either plan, lead or attend a retreat time, we know by example, there are many benefits. Deliberate sequestered fellowship with His Body of Believers, or introspecting for repentance, or to pray in intercession for others and many other purposes that God may lay upon your heart are unique to each leader or group. May He guide you and bless you with the outcome that He has designed for your retreat time.
In everything, may God be Glorified!
If you are interested in bringing a group to Wafloy Mountain Village for a time of retreat, please fill out this inquiry form: HERE