Tomorrow, a friend is picking me up for a three-day retreat. I’ve attended church retreats before—women’s retreats, a choir retreat, and ski trips when I was in the college group—but this will be a completely different experience. Other than the friend who invited me, and two other ladies that she mentioned were going, I won’t know anyone there. The itinerary doesn’t look anything like the activity line-up for women’s retreats at my church, and they even have rules like Please, no cell phones (so we’ll focus on hearing from God instead of on hearing from those we left at home). At first I felt a little unsettled about it. What kind of group expected people to leave their cell phones in their rooms or better yet, at home? What if I got there and felt completely out of place?
But the closer I get to tomorrow, the more excited I feel. I actually found myself feeling thankful for the no cell phone rule, knowing that it frees me to leave everything that is going on at home behind and take in what God wants to teach me. From what I can tell, the emphasis is extremely spiritual—something I definitely need right now. And I sense that it will be good for me to be with people that I don’t see on a daily or weekly basis—to make some new friends and connect with women that don’t know every detail of my life.
I see this retreat as an invitation out of my typical rut, and an opportunity to connect with Jesus in a fresh environment. I’m one of those people who like to know what to expect so I can feel safe and comfortable. As I asked my friend for more details about this retreat the other day, I sensed God nudging me to let a little bit of mystery be okay—to let some things be a surprise—that I didn’t always have to know what to expect every minute of every day. I look forward to His surprises.
How often do you accept invitations to do something unusual? How easy is it to step out of your comfort zone? When has God surprised you through an activity that you thought you might not enjoy?