A couple of days ago, I wrote “Paralyzing” with the idea that sometimes we get so busy that we don’t know what to do. When this happens, we just stop and don’t do anything, or become paralyzed. Well I am sitting on the deck of a cabin in Gatlinburg, TN right now after finishing my daily devotions. I am on a youth sponsor retreat with some of the youth sponsors from Crossroads Christian Church. I love this group of people. They give up their time on a regular basis investing in the teens from our church and community. They even give up a weekend to come together and spend time learning and praying about ways that we can reach these teens better. But as I sit here, I also realize that this is part of an answer to the problems I addressed a couple of days ago.
Sometimes, we just need a retreat. We need a break from our daily lives and to get away from it all. This is a short retreat, and honestly it is not a very restful one because we stayed up late last night and got up early this morning. But it is a refreshing retreat. I already feel that, and that, to me, is better than a restful retreat. Restful would be nice for my tired body, but refreshing is amazing for my tired soul. That’s what happens when you get too busy. Your soul gets tired. So taking a retreat is an amazing thing. Whether you do that on a regular basis or not. Whether you do that in solitude or in a group. Retreat is necessary.
I would argue, however, that retreat is better done in community. We were made for community. Something just doesn’t feel right when we stay completely isolated from everyone for long periods of time. I’m not saying that we don’t ever need solitude. Christ sought solitude during busy periods of time in his ministry. But he also showed that community is important. Community is just an easy way of saying that we are sharing life together. That’s another reason I love this group of people who I’m in Gatlinburg with. We are sharing life together. This group of people is one of the many groups that I share in community with. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
If you aren’t in community with anyone, I urge you to find community. I truly believe to live in a growing relationship with Christ, that community is necessary. It is that important. So take time to retreat when life becomes busy or paralyzing, but don’t forget to spend regular time in community with other believers. Community helps to keep life from becoming paralyzing.