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My wife, Julie, gave me a wonderful gift recently. She found a place where I could go to have quiet and solitude for a couple days. I was alone in a log cabin, in the woods of western Wisconsin. The scenery was perfect; the accommodations were simple; the time was refreshing. For the most part, all I had was my Bible, some music, and a notebook. I took some long walks in the woods. I read. I prayed. I wrote.
I didn’t have my phone. (Well, I did, but it didn’t work – nor did I want it to.) I didn’t have a radio, television, or the Internet. I was disconnected from the outside world, but I was in a place where I could feel God’s presence and hear his voice a little more clearly. That was all I really needed. I took time to be quiet and slow down.
Do you have any idea how loud the modern world is? Be quiet for a moment and really listen to the world around you – music, talk, copy machines and printers, phones, filing cabinets, computers, doors, appliances, cars and trucks, buzzers, even the hum of lights. The noise of the world drowns out the voice of God sent in messages from nature and scripture.
Do you know how fast the world is running? Be still and sense the messages telling you to get ahead, buy more, work harder, be better, get thinner, and do it all faster. The world is hurtling along, grabbing and dragging you with it, too fast to deeply experience relationships and God’s very presence.
I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to turn it all off! It was peaceful. When was the last time you experienced a deep peace throughout your day? My quiet, slow time at the retreat was clarifying. In the absence of all the noise and hurry, I more easily understood what is important and what God wants me to do about that. It was energizing. This experience reminded me that in many ways “less is more.”
It may be difficult for you to set aside two or three days for a personal retreat. Depending on where you live it may be difficult to find a place to do that. (Start by doing an Internet search for “personal retreat.”) Whatever it takes, it is worth it.
Find somewhere to go, where you can be totally unplugged, not bothered, and very quiet. I believe that you will find it much easier to hear the voice of God and experience Him.