Greetings from Green Lake, Wisconsin!
I am here at the Midwest-North Regional Vineyard Conference. This is the first night and I am really enjoying myself. I have high hopes for the remaining sessions.
This is a time for leaders of Midwestern Vineyard churches to pull back and focus on what God has for us. The organizers have built in time for reflection and have given us questions to aid in our reflection.
The structure of this conference is differtent from any conference I have ever been to. Usually, conferences are times of rushing from one session to another with hardly a minute in between. Usually, conferences leave me exhausted.
This one is different. Each session ends with time for reflection. We have a nice break tomorrow. The organizers stress the importance of stillness. I am learning that taking time to spend with God away from the frantic activity of life is key.
Jesus knew this well. Luke 5:16 say a that “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” We know that Jesus did this and that he had a thriving ministry and a close connection with the Father. We see how Jesus benefitted from pulling away.
Somehow, we have forgotten the importance of solitude and reflection. Many of us recognize that this was important, even essential, for Jesus. However, two thousand years later many of us fail to see their relevance in our harried lives and overcrowded schedules. Jesus needed solitude and reflection. We need them just as badly.
Take time to get alone with God. See what happens. The heavens may not split for you (but then again, they may) but it will be surprisingly restorative. Try it. I think you’ll come back for more.