RetreatDec2006

22 Dec

As what seems like a tradition now i am taking my pre-Christmas retreat day. I love having this time to reflect upon the last year, to think through the highs and lows, joys, trials as well as the significant things that I will take away from it.

I have arrived at my favourite place of retreat, The Fish and Eels Pub in Dobbs Weir. It’s taken me about 2 hours to walk up to here from Jo’s work where she dropped me off. I had a good breakfast and the read the paper over a coffee at a local supermarket before making my plans for today. I like to read the paper before I do anything on days like this as it helps me to come around slowly and to start to wake up my mind.

The walk was beautiful in the cold. I strolled not very quickly through Lee Valley Park stopping occasionally to take photos of the scenery hidden amongst the mist and fog. I decided before I started to write on my hand some of the things that I wanted to spend some time praying about.

Aside: I love this pub because as I write a tray with coffee and cream and milk has just arrived as I sit by the open log fire with an amazing smell coming off of it. Cream in the coffee today as a treat.


Anyway the writing on the hand worked well as it helped me to keep my mind focussed enough without confining it. The walk was refreshing and as always I am reminded of The Creator and I walk through and in his creation. I took a lot of photos and various things that caught my attention as I walked. Photography is becoming more and more an interest of mine. I’ve never really been into it until this year.


RetreatDec2006
Originally uploaded by lnpearson.

I have a few books with me today to look over and do some thinking around. One of them is some theology stuff that I am continuing to ponder on and work through, whilst the other is a book to help me with a series that I think I will teach in the new year. It will be based around some of Brian McLaren’s ‘The Story We Find Ourselves In’ by using some of his tittles and descriptions to try and give broad brush strokes to give an overview to the bible.

So back to 2006 and the year that is fast coming towards an end. As I pondered the question as I walked ‘What has this year been like?’ I have come to the conclusion in some ways it has been an very unremarkable way in most ways. I don’t mean that to sound negative or seem to imply a bad thing, in fact in many ways that is exactly what I needed. The past 6-8 years have been full of continuous change and movement. Almost since I left school to go to college and from there embarked on God’s call into Youth Ministry I have been moving, training, going onto new things in new places. This year has felt more settled but not in a stale way. Even as I write these words I feel the thoughts that contentment and settledness are somehow opposed to God’s plan. However in amongst all this i still feel challenged and inadequate in my calling to this place. I think the feeling is in fact that this year I have been in the right place, that I have been doing what I have been called to do at this time.

Highlights of this year have included our holiday at Centre Parcs with friends (Jan), our time in Egypt (August), seeing Fuertabruta (Aug). We have also moved into our first house with all the stress that we had at the time has ended up as an amazing blessing which I could not of foreseen at the start of this year.

Highlights within my work this year have included having Andy around as a sounding board and feeling as though we as a whole church are now starting to slowly move in the direction we should be. Our weekend away in Feb was also a great time where young people met with God and also met with each other. BB camp was also a good time where I was able to teach and there was a tangible sense of God moving in people’s lives amongst a background of chaos that is often felt at these camps. This year has also seen growth numerically in my work around church which is encouraging and by starting to do some one on one discipleship as well as starting the process of pairing up other young people and adults has also been a highlight which will hopefully continue to be into the New Year and subsequent ones.

This year has also contained its share of difficulties as with every year. Many of these aren’t specific events but were instead just periods of time and life that I/we just needed to get through. Just those times when you feel yuk for no good reason. Again as always those times are to be endured and to be worked through. These usually have coincided with times of tiredness and dryness of the soul. I have been challenged theologically this year as well as in other ways in which I conduct myself. These things have not so much come from external people/events but instead from things deep within.

So as I look to the next year 2007 it holds some changes for sure. At present I don’t know how much. There are decisions to be made which I will not write about yet in this place, but these are decisions to be made, not only by Jo and me. The church will vote in Jan about whether to offer me an extension to my contract until summer 2008. However this vote goes I will have decisions to make. That is one of the things written on my hand today.

So as Christmas approaches I look forward to celebrating to coming Messiah, God to the rescue, the start of the revolution.

Lord keep me close to you in this coming year. May you use me to further your kingdom in the places that you want. Work through and despite of my ambitions and failing. Grant me that deep peace that comes with walking with you even if the surface level at times become less than peaceful.

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3 Responses to “RetreatDec2006”

  1. rev tc December 23, 2006 at 10:03 am #

    great to read your reflections lewis, and to notice the maturing in you over the years.
    god keep you close to him as he leads you in paths ever new.

  2. Weird Hippy December 23, 2006 at 5:23 pm #

    thanks, I must have been schooled well

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  1. Looking back over my shoulder at 2007 « Weird Hippy - December 31, 2007

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