Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Going Solo

One of my goals this year was to go on at least three 24 hour "solos" before the year is done. A solo for me is a personal retreat where I get away from people (usually in nature) and just be with God. When I was a youth pastor/camp director in Mennville I usually did it at least once or twice a year. It was easy; I had flexible ministries that encouraged such things and I had a plethora of cabins and places I could go that didn't cost me anything to use. I still had to book the time off, but it wasn't that difficult.

Fast forward to now that I live in the city. If I want to go on a solo, it actually costs me something! I now have to sacrifice on a larger scale my family, time, and especially money (which is on the tighter side at this stage in our lives). And so . . . I have put it off. Even though I know how good it would be for God and me.

Recently though I have been feeling more and more the desire, nay, the need to get away. Spending extended time with God does not just seem like a "good thing to do" but a necessity. My soul is crying out for it. Just like I feel occasional retreats are necessary for my wife and I's relationship, I need these times away with God as well. I have justified not doing it because of all my life stuff but now I need to just do it. I think it was Gandhi who said there was no worship without sacrifice so I suppose the fact that it costs you is itself a part of the experience.

I guess I just need a place to go. Anyone have ideas? Or know anyone who has a cabin that they would let me borrow (or rent at a reasonable cost) and that isn't too far from Winnipeg?

In the past I have talked to people about this solo thing and many have said "That sounds so awesome, I wish I had the time to do that." I used to think something like "Well, you have to make the time!" and feel a little spiritual pride. But for the past few years I've been saying what they did (oh, the irony)! It's humbling but true. I encourage you - if you think or know personal solos would be enriching for your relationship with God, don't be like me - make the time.

May Light increase!


Lindsey Dueck said...

why don't you use the dueck cabin? for free?

Anonymous said...

Yeah,Mark! Mom's funeral will be Friday at 2 in Riverton,so maybe you could accomplish both? Terry

Mark said...

Hey Terry, I'm so sorry about your Mom. I will hopefully be out for the funeral but I'm not sure if I'll have time for a decent stay at your cabin. Thanks for the offer though, can I take you up on it another time?

Chad said...

i have a tent(or just a tarp if you prefer, a canoe,and a provincial park pass you can borrow. thats the best kind of solo.
guess its a little cold for that now though.