A prayer for retreating

Holy One, sometimes we just need to get away.
We know Jesus did it, but we hesitate. We are so important. Our work for you matters.
Doesn’t it?
If we don’t take such good care of ourselves, well, it’s because we think it’s our job to always be on the job — on your behalf — not for ourselves. None of it is for ourselves.

But when the days come, and they do come, the days when our tempers are short and our personalities are frayed like the shoelace on our old tennis shoes, send us out, Lord.
Send us to the woods,
to the seashore,
to the quiet place in the mountains,
to the bubble bath behind a locked door,
out to dinner with our beloved or our bestie or some new friend you have waiting for us.

Send us out and away from the places where our edges get sharpened until they hurt someone.
Send us out and away from the people who poke at our soft places and know just where to pinch with a word or the lift of an eyebrow.
Send us out and away from the inner hangnails we can neither file smooth nor just ignore.
Send us out to collect ourselves.
Send us out to re-collect ourselves, to pull our pieces together, to get our …
peace … together.

Put a picture in our minds of Jesus, getting out of town to pray, not bothering to tell anyone where he’s gone.
He went and didn’t worry that the disciples would get into a predicament without him. He knew the time was short.
He went.

Put a picture in our minds of Jesus, falling asleep in the back of the boat, never minding the storm blowing up in the distance.
He slept and didn’t worry that the disciples would have a freak when the wind grew stronger. He knew the time was short.
He slept.

Give us confidence in your presence and your providence, trust in your sovereignty and your solidarity, eagerness to find you and feel you in our hearts and souls. Refresh us. Renew us.

Then,
send us back,
ready to go,
souls full of fresh insight and lungs full of different air, wherever we found it,
ready to love your people,
ready to serve you.

With the RevGals, 2010
With the RevGals, 2010

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