The Rest of the Beloved

Yesterday was a retreat day for me.

Every few months I try to set aside my agendas and to-do lists and really try to spend time with Jesus. While this isn’t easy – and I blow it off more than I’d like to admit – the focused time in the presence of the divine is always good – and necessary.

For me, this means I listen to Jesus. I can’t hear Him unless I set aside everything and focus on HIM. I listen and listen and listen.

I usually plan a FULL DAY to do this. Sometimes my schedule allows that to work out, others times it doesn’t. But at least I am intentional about it.

Now the truth is, I don’t sit still very well. (For those of you who I live and work with this comes as no surprise.) So if I really want to spend time with Jesus and listen I need to go on a long run. Preferably, this is a ‘down and out run.’ I run far in one direction so that I have to run the same distance back. (It keeps me honest.)

Yesterday was a 10 mile so that gave me plenty of time to listen.

While running, I try my best to get rid of all thoughts and aspirations; all plans and agendas; all anxieties and challenges…and just listen. I do all I can to quiet the ‘other voices’ that are always chattering in my head and listen…to the voice of Jesus.

God said much to me during that run: things I needed to hear; things I needed to be reminded about. He told me about the sins I need to deal with. He told me about the here relationships I need to mend. He told me about getting a better handle on my frustrations.

I heard Him and I know what to do.

And I was able to rest during that run. (Yes, you can ‘rest’ even when you’re running or walking or exercising.)

The rest I am talking about is one that happens when God has the chance to whisper into your soul because you’re focused on him and you’re trying to listen. Because when you give God the opportunity and really listen, you will hear from Him. And you will hear that you are beloved and that your life is in his hands and that there is nothing to fear and no amount of striving or pursuing will make Him love you more than you already are.

Because when you listen to God you will hear you are beloved. Yesterday, during that run I heard I was beloved. Again.

May you find the time and place to hear from God as much and as often as possible. Amen.