It would not be an exaggeration to describe 2020 as having been unrelenting. The intensity, the uncertainty, the complexity, and the end of ‘normal’ have all compounded to provide an environment where there is no respite. None.
Last Thursday afternoon and Friday, the Principals joined me, Steph Maher, and Rev. Mark Vainikka in the city for a spiritual retreat that epitomized 2020 in that it was anything but normal. We gathered at an inner-city hotel with a COVIDSafe plan, we met for sessions in a room large enough to seat hundreds in any other year, and we retreated.
The word retreat is both a noun and a verb. Defined as ‘an act of moving back or withdrawing’ or ‘a period or place of seclusion for the purposes of prayer and meditation’. As one Principal commented, in the intensity of the here and now, there is almost a feeling of guilt about withdrawing even for the purposes of prayer and meditation.
But withdraw we did, around a wonderful retreat program planned and led by Steph and Mark that challenged us, caused us to pause and reflect, and allowed all to just ‘be’ for 24 hours. There was even barefoot walking in a park.
Thank you to Steph and Mark. You were and are a blessing to us all. And thank you to Principals for your commitment to replenish your spiritual fuel tanks in an unrelenting 2020.
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”