That’s a good question. The MOST stressful thing most of us can think of is removing a weekend from our insanely busy lives. When will the laundry be done? Clean underwear is simply not optional. And who will bring the snacks to 17 different sporting events? Drive the carpool? Make the coffee? Serve in the nursery for the early service? Clearly, this place doesn’t run well without us.
And if we are going to take a weekend off, shouldn’t we be sitting on a beach somewhere? With a good book that has no illustrations or rhyming sentences? Why on earth would we retreat with other people? Mostly people we don’t know well?
Here’s the deal. Those of us who can’t fathom taking a weekend off for fear the machine will sputter to a halt without our input/expertise/manpower are precisely the people in desperate need of retreat. When we lose sight of our place and our purpose, we are on dangerous ground. Because busyness an opiate. The frenetic pace of our lives dulls our understanding of why and how we follow God. As we scurry on autopilot we become slaves to our obligations and increasingly disconnected from our reason for doing the work in the first place.
Drifting from our first love we are robbed of joy. Robbed blind. We make ourselves do the Christian thing in the same way we make ourselves drive carpool. How much of our faith practices are motivated by guilt, duty or sheer obedience? Perpetually, we curb our selfishness and move in our own strength “to do the right thing.” This stutter step wrestling to follow God without really desiring God eventually wears down even the strongest of disciples.
Disconnected God-followers are in danger of living a “reactionary faith”. Corrected by our moral compass but not really directed by it. Jesus came so that we might have life, and have it to the full. Busyness frequently masks our perpetual dissatisfaction with our current reality which feels nothing like the fullness of life Jesus promised. In fact, the busyness leaves us feeling mostly depleted.
Thus, our philosophy of retreat: Our goal is to facilitate a time and space for God to recalibrate the priorities of our lives allowing us to emerge solely focused on His agenda. In doing so, we become more aware of His all-encompassing love and deeper connected with His astounding power. He releases us from weight that was never ours to carry and fills us with outrageous joy. We pursue the promised life.
Given a little room, God amazes us. He works through deeply personal moments as well as inspired community fellowship to draw us back to His heart. We believe that God uses His word, prayer, worship, fellowship and solitude to accomplish “a year of Sundays” in one weekend.
So. We retreat not because “we need a break” but because we are broken. What hope is there for the sheep without the Shepherd? Life is too precious to spend one more moment without the God of all comfort leading the way. And if we throw in laughter, good coffee and some chocolate, well then -anything can happen. And probably will.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
“Thank you so much for coming & blessing us! It was so great to meet you and your team! They were so helpful as well! I learned alot this weeekend and I have been in Church since birth lol. Thank you for being obedient to the Lord.” Your sister in Christ,
“Hollylu- your availability to the leading and working of the Holy Spirit has been so incredible to experience. You have inspired me incredibly. I loved how your message spoke to this younger generation of daughters! They need to know they are warriors! May God continue to use you in mighty and miraculous ways. The Women of Copperhills will never be the same!”