Monday, February 21, 2011

Intro to Contemplative Retreat - Day 1

how did i spend my 29th birthday? The Wife and i were up in Camerons, trying out a Contemplative Retreat - a.k.a. Silent Retreat - for the first time! it was a great experience, and i highly recommend it for anyone who's been a Christian, serving God and trying to follow Him for ages, and wondering "is this all there is to the Christian life? is this all there is to knowing God???"

the morning of the first day saw me rushing to complete my Biblical Theology Assignment. got it done just in the nick of time - this one really by God's grace. (reminder to self: now i need to start on the Understanding Islam Assignment! lol)

after lunch we picked up a friend and were off to camerons! =)

we arrived late for dinner, so munched it as fast as we could, as the other retreatants were waiting for us to begin.

the first session was an introduction to what contemplative retreat is, what the goals of the retreat are, and etc. Basically, in this retreat, we were to practice 4 Spiritual Disciplines: solitude (being alone with God), silence (being still before God), meditation (chewing on the Word of God), and worship. after that first session, the silence began! all handphones off, and no talking to one another!

here are some thoughts that stayed with me from this first day of the retreat:
  • i realised a deep need for more meaningful and intimate daily connection with God. had to ask for His forgiveness for neglecting Him, being too busy and too easily distracted. but also gave Him thanks for waking me up!
  • in this retreat, we strive to seek God in the everyday, ordinary, and natural.
  • the ultimate goal of the retreat is for us to be able to be still and abide in Him even in the daily hustle and bustle of life.
  • enjoy God... DON'T enjoy enjoying God!
  • meditate with my heart... DON'T study with my mind! (meditating is like chewing slowly, enjoying the flavours; whereas studying is like trying to analyze the ingredients and thinking of the best way to cook and present the food)
in following blog posts, i hope to share what i gained from some of the meditations is did (or tried to do) in this retreat. may you be blessed! =)


Charis said...

out of curiousity, who 'directed' the retreat?

siehjin said...

rev. dr. chew tow yow... he's a retired teacher of teachers (his doctorate's in education), who then became a pastor and has now retired from that as well... he studied spiritual direction under the jesuits i think.

i deeply respect his wisdom and humility. =)