I’m just about ready to leave for a two day, two night personal retreat down in Lincoln Park. A retreat in Lincoln Park, you say? You betcha… I believe its possible to listen to God’s still small voice in the midst of $5 cupcakes, birkenstocks and gourmet puppy chow. I’m not Jesus, guys. He can survive for 40 days in the wilderness. I have enough on my hands spending two in yuppiness.

I used to think it was a retreat unless you were 1) in a cabin 2) had bad food 3) were by a lake and forest and 4) could go fishing and/or on a scary night hike. And probably you had to be in Lake Geneva. Anyways, I’m expecting only 1.5 of those conditions to be met (food and a lake)… but thankfully I’m not looking forward to this retreat for superficial aesthetics, room and board or location. I’m out to spend two days alone, no computer, cell phone off, with just a pack of Tasmanian devils that are my thoughts and the God of the universe to keep me company.

Somebody told me that the mind of an extrovert is like a glass jar filled with water from the bottom of the lake that’s been shaken. Its murky and there are indiscriminate particles of dirt, moss, leaves swirling around, mingling together. No clarity, the extrovert just keeps shaking her glass and further murkiness ensues. Therefore the ultimate task for an extrovert’s maturity, he said, is to take that murky jar and simply set it on a table for an extended period of time in stillness… NO MOTION. And gradually all the particles sink to the bottom leaving nothing but crystal clear water to look through.

I guess that’s what this retreat is all about. No Motion. Trying to let the murkiness slowly sink to the bottom so that I could have some clarity.

So if you’re reading this, could you take a moment and lift me up… that it woudl be a good weekend… it would truly be a retreat. A retreat from what, you ask? I dunno, a retreat from everything. Maybe I’ll find out what I’m retreat from when I get there…

30The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31Then, 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.”  32So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.

– Mark 6

p.s. if you’d like to know where I’m going, I’m spending the weekend with the Cenacle Sisters of Lincoln Park, they describe themselves as, “a Catholic religious congregation devoted to making Jesus known and loved through prayer, community life, and spiritual ministries (especially retreats and conference).” They run a center at Fullterton and Belden (in addition to centers around the world) and offer fairly cheap room and board to folks for either guided or personal retreats. You should check it out for yourselves.


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