Today I spent the day just being. No agenda, just a day to rest, ‘be’ and in that process I held a hope that I would meet with God afresh. To help me in this I booked into the Fenland hermitage near Spalding, a place that I would describe as an emerging and growing ‘thin place’ where the gap between heaven and earth is thin. It is simply beautiful and ‘feels’ like a place of encounter and meeting with God.
I’m so grateful that I did book in as the few days before going got more and more chocka with things to do and plan. I suspect that if I didn’t have the accountability of being booked in somewhere my prayer/ being day would have been somewhat compromised.
As I arrived my friendly host Lance (founder of the Hermitage alongside Sue) showed me where I would be spending the day: a comfortable and beautifully renovated barn transformed into a kitchen diner and living room with access to the simple chapel. He showed me the tea and coffee making facilities and then noticed that the fruit bowl was empty so went off to get a selection of fruits from the main house. He returned with his brown Franciscan hoodie carrying the fruit ladled in the front. I held the bowl as he tipped them in. The banana had come open in the carrying process so Lance quipped that it would need eating up!
It’s such an obvious heavenly metaphor… No, not that I’m bananas, although that may be true, but rather a simple day just to ‘be’ produces fruit and nourishment. Lots of it, in fact far more than a day of activity and being busy for Jesus could produce. Abiding, which Jesus teaches us to do, takes time. I’m so grateful for my day of prayer I take each and every month at least, just to be and meet with God. Mid morning I joined Lance and Sue for tea. They shared with me how difficult it was to encourage church leaders to take a day to rest, a day of solitude and silence. They shared some stories of tired leaders who do and do and do and can’t stop. We all know where that leads: A pile of human do-ings rather than human beings. That’s crap. We need to be children who abide with their Father… Simply be still. If you don’t take a day of retreat may I encourage you to do so and you will receive fruitfulness.