“In silence all our usual patterns assault us. That’s why most of us give up rather quickly. When Jesus was led into the wilderness the first things to show up were the wild beasts.”
What price tag have you placed on your availability to others? Is your client schedule too full? In your constant caring for others, who cares for you? Do you long for a place of rest for yourself?
“Teach us the humility of not caring, so that we do not use anyone’s need as a workshop to cobble together makeshift, messianic work that inflates our importance and indispensability. Teach us to be in wonder and adoration before the beauties of creation and the glories of salvation, especially as they come to us in these humans who have come to think of themselves as violated and degraded and rejected. Teach us the reticence and restraint of not caring, so that in our eagerness to do good, we not ignorantly interfere in your caring. Teach us not to care so that we have time and energy and space to realize that all our work is done on holy ground and in your holy name, that people and communities in need are not a wasteland where we feverishly and faithlessly set up shop, but a garden, a rose garden in which we work contemplatively.” -Eugene Peterson
We want to invite you into a weekend of wasted time. Sleeping late, star gazing, sitting by a creek or waterfall, lingering in a good conversation, a walk in the woods, taking a long lunch, sitting in quiet without an agenda. All of these are not impressive resume builders. They do not help draw new clients into your practice. These opportunities appear to be expensive in nature but do not cost even one dollar. They are costly because they demand that we become unavailable. As heretical as it may often seem, Jesus remained mostly hidden from us living in complete obscurity from us for the first thirty years of his life. He maintained a commitment to hiddenness during the three years of his earthly ministry.
Truth is…we know relatively nothing about this man who lived in perfect uninterrupted rhythm with his Heavenly Father. And we wonder where the power came from to perform miracles. We rally around his presence among the multitudes and would probably have been counted among those who were frantically hunting for him when he became unavailable.
We are pleased to have Fil Anderson facilitating our retreat. Fil is executive director of Journey Resources, based in Greensboro, North Carolina. He’s a frequent speaker at conferences, offers individual spiritual direction, and directs retreats and workshops nationally and internationally.
He is the author of Running on Empty: Contemplative Spirituality for Overachievers (Waterbrook) and Breaking the Rules: Trading Performance for Intimacy with God (InterVarsity). He also contributed to Transformation of a Man’s Heart: Reflections on the Masculine Journey (InterVarsity).
He’s a member of the Spiritual Care Team for Samaritan’s Purse. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Fuller Theological seminary, he also completed the Graduate Program in Spiritual Guidance at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Bethesda, Maryland. Fil worked with Young Life for twenty-five years, serving as area director and regional director before becoming director of national training. He and his wife, Lucie, live in Greensboro and are the parents of three adult children. Avid beach lovers, they’re on Wrightsville Beach, NC as often as possible.