Here are just three suggestions
as you begin this retreat:
Suggestion #1: Slow down that clock.
For starters, you’re going to need
about 30 minutes to one hour
to do today’s retreat in a leisurely manner.
Also, if you plan to go through this retreat
the way we go through our newsfeeds
and emails, it simply won’t work.
In his book The Shallows
(What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains),
Nicholas Carr cites research showing that
when we’re reading
from the screen of our computers or tablets
we inevitably end up skimming.
Reading deeply–and reflecting–aren’t going to happen
unless we make the effort to slow down our reading
and to pause to think about what we’ve just read.
For this retreat to work,
you’ll need to exert every effort to read slowly
and to pause and think deeply.
Tip #2: Don’t go chasing butterflies.
Whether we like it or not,
we’re going to have distractions.
What’s matters is not eliminating these stray thoughts–
we can’t!–but managing them.
And the secret is:
Whenever distractions occur,
don’t follow or pursue them.
Think of distractions like butterflies:
When they perch near you and catch your attention,
acknowledge them and let them be.
Don’t go off running after them.
If you catch yourself doing that,
just gently remind yourself
to return to your retreat.
Needless to say, it will help
to find a place where you can have some privacy,
to put your phone on silent mode,
and to turn off notifications from email, Facebook, etc.
Tip #3: Pray for God’s grace.
There’s no such thing
as a Do-It-Yourself Retreat.
And the reason is, we need God.
We can pray
only if God gives us the grace to pray.
So it’s very important that we remind ourselves
that any encounter with the Lord
will happen only with His grace.
Always remember to ask for His help.
images from jobhuntersbible.com, amazon.com, roadtripparenting.wordpress.com