Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Take Me With You

I just got back today from one of the most unique and powerful experiences of my life. I have been at a 3-day spiritual retreat for pastors sponsored by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. What made this retreat unique was that much of the time was spent in silence. That may sound a bit odd - it did to me at first - but it was unbelievable some of what happened in the silence.

The point of the retreat was to equip pastors to nurture their souls and to provide resources for personal spiritual formation. One of the disciplines that I made use of in the last 3 days was walking a labyrinth. A labyrinth is not a maze - you cannot get lost in a labyrinth, for there is only 1 way in and out. I was not really sure what I was supposed to do, but as I began my journey into the center, I found my thoughts drifting to every worry, anxiety, self-doubt, and sin that was weighing on me. I prayed for each of these as I journeyed closer and closer to the center. When I reached the center, there was a tile cross in the concrete. I stood there and focused on the cross for a moment. I began to leave when I felt a voice within me saying, "Stay a while." I sat there on that cross for sometime, silently meditating on Jesus Christ until a peace came over me. When I got up to leave a second time, another sentence came to my soul. "Take me with you." I do not know if this was God's word to me, or my words to God. As I travelled out of the labyrinth, I found myself repeating that phrase again and again. The burdens I came into the center with were not forgotten; instead, I indeed felt a sense of real rest.

For the last several days, I have kept that phrase with me. "Take me with you." I do not know if it even has just one meaning, and I continue to look for understanding in all that God is working in me through these words.