Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Retreating

Last weekend I went out to a Christian camp with several men from our congregation and we had a “retreat.” We discussed the question, “What Am I Doing Here?” The discussion was good – and deep. In the next few days, I’d like to share some of the thoughts I brought to that weekened.

We all remember the phrase “finding ourselves.” Especially in the 1960s and ‘70s (but still today, as well), people would check out of life in general and tell people they were trying to “find themselves.” Some ran off to communes; some just got stoned and pretty much stayed that way; some turned to religion. For those who weren’t just using this concept as an excuse to drop out, there were some serious issues involved. In a sense, they were or are asking the same questions we are considering: Who am I? What is my place in this world? What am I doing here? Is this all there is?
Being away from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives is a good – and Biblical – way in which to consider such things. Consider these verses from God’s Word:

· The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. (Psalm 19:7)
· Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. (Psalm 46:10)
· Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." (Mark 6:31)
· But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Matthew 6:6).

This is the whole idea of a retreat. We Go away and contemplate. In a sense, what we did was to go away and contemplate contemplation. More on that at another time!

We all have different roles (wear different hats) at different times in our lives. Where is “here” right now? Here may be, for you, at the junction of Daddy Boulevard and Husband Circle. It may be at the intersection of Son Street and Assistant Manager Alley. You may be standing at Church Leader Creek. In each case, we need to remind ourselves that whatever our roles (and remember that they change) they include being a Christian man. That’s the one that’s a constant. We have duties to our God, our families and our church (and these duties really ought to be considered in this order). What are those duties? What’s expected of me? Is that realistic?

Tomorrow (or soon, at least) an introduction of the key verse for this particular discussion.