Saturday, October 31, 2009

Alone & Retreat

Where should hope be placed?  If you could put such a precious jewel as hope or faith, trust, or love in a safe place, where would you put it?  Perhaps a gigantic safe, with thick bars and a dial of combinations that spins – would that be the place?  I’ve been in a bank vault, thick walls and thicker doors; everything in it is carefully stowed away.  Yes, a vault that is it.  No wait, a vault may be good for storing things, but it just sits there, collecting dust and stale air. 
Other spots people use to store important valuables like dresser drawers or freezers, ooohhh – those hide a rock things…. Maybe that would be the place.  Of course, things can get mixed up in clothing and hide a keys are pretty well known.  No, that won’t work either.
Well, if hiding or careful storage won’t work, perhaps the old adage is true.   Perhaps hiding in plain sight is really the trick.  Yet, if I wear my heart on my proverbial sleeve, it will only last as long as that sleeve and then need washed.  And of course, that is not a very well protected area.  Someone might use it for a handkerchief.
Where do I keep these prized valuables?  In God alone is where the perfect protecting spot is.  A safe place to leave our heart, with the perfect one where hope rests allows me to rest too.  Twelve days till the retreat.  A retreat, a rest, I will draw away from my daily routine and refocus on the hope and rest giver. 
You know, in medieval battles retreats were often the place where the majority of the soldiers were injured.  It is because they often became a route where people scrambled wildly across a field and didn’t listen to commands.  Instead of falling back in a well ordered fashion, many of the foot soldiers turned and ran. 
There are times when hope is hard to come by and God comes to us, asking us to allow the giver of hope hold it for us – in Him alone remember.  Instead of seeing how we should respond, we turn and run away, resulting in disorder and destruction.  As I prepare for a retreat, I need to make sure that I can also be prepared to hand over hope and everything else precious to me to the giver and creator of hope.  Not to retreat wildly, resulting in my own injury, but to fall back to safety and rest.