What can pastors expect during a retreat? REST – REFLECTION & BEAUTY We talked about REST in both waking hours and sleeping hours. What about REFLECTION?
When a person is reading a book or the Bible, they often stop and reflect. What does it mean to reflect on an idea? They think about what was just read, consider it, contemplate the concept, deliberate the thoughts and ponder how this applies to themselves or even if it does apply. This process takes time and engages so many brain cells! Then when the reader asks his or her spouse what the reading means to them, a concept or idea can become a long conversation. Having the time to reflect is a gift. It is creative. It may make for a slow reading but the contents will remain longer in the memory than just a cursory scan.
There is another advantage to having a time of reflection and that is a view of one’s own self. The one who is reflecting may ask, ‘How do I reflect Jesus?’ Or, ‘Since I am made in the image (or reflection) of God, do other people see that reflection or do they just see me?’ These can be heavy questions that take serious honest thought. Having time to think and read and ponder brings a self analysis that is prudent and proper for a pastor or spouse to consider. It is the self examined life.
There are six couples at each Broom Tree retreat group with a host couple. Some retreats have more than one group but then there will also be other host couples to facilitate the dinner table discussions. Each meal time has a topic of conversation so each person has a chance to talk and everyone else listens. It is the old art of dining where food is enjoyed but the conversation is the focus. In this gracious setting ideas and reflection are shared and easy questions become a way of expanding the world you once thought you knew. Laughter becomes effortless and relaxed, burdens are carefully released and friendships are often made that last beyond the retreat experience. This is conversation at it’s best and reflection that is honest.