Jesus often retreated from the crowds and the bustle of everyday life to be alone or with a smaller group of his friends and followers. Though the man-made legalities of the Sabbath did not restrain Christ’s compassion, he also regularly withdrew from his work to practice Sabbath worship and rest.

What keeps us from following the example of Jesus by withdrawing from our usual responsibilities to spend time concentrating on God? A need to stay in control and fend for ourselves? Fear of what God might say to us when He finally gets our undivided attention? Never even considered it? Sound “lazy” not to be constantly producing?

Consider not just keeping the weekly Sabbath but scheduling a yearly retreat, either alone in silence and solitude, or with others. Let God refresh and refill you. Let God teach you. Respond to Jesus as he invites, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

See also “Silent Directed Retreats” and “Group Retreats.”