A few years ago, around the holidays, I found myself in an uncomfortable spiritual condition…lukewarm. I was neither cold nor hot toward the things of God. Having been a Christian for decades, I knew better, that the condition of lukewarm is the most dangerous because this state of being often lulls a man into a false sense of spiritual well-being.
I decided that a major spiritual reboot was in order, and the one thing that kept coming to my mind was to get away alone, just me and God. The thought of this left me both excited and frightened. If I were to get alone with God what might he say to me? What might he reveal about myself that I’d been ignoring? The questions were endless.
Nevertheless, I booked a hotel room in a nearby city. My preparation was minimal; I would take a notebook, a Bible, a couple of podcasts on my smartphone that dealt with listening to God, earplugs, snacks, and an overnight travel bag. I would not watch TV, surf the web, or interact with social media, except for letting my wife know that I’d arrived okay and send an occasion “I’m okay” text update.
As the day approached, I more than once considered cancelling the reservation and forgetting the whole idea. After all, the more I thought about it the more silly and crazy it sounded in the first place.
But I went…and now I go every year. And it’s without a doubt the single most important 24 hours I invest out of a year’s worth of 24 hours.
If you find yourself in an uncomfortable spiritual place, why don’t you go on your own overnight, mini-spiritual retreat sometime between now and the end of January? Yes, you’ll have to carve a night and day out of your life (weekend works best) but I’m giving you a head start that I didn’t have when I began…a sample itinerary and a personal inventory worksheet that you can use if you so choose. You can download them both from the menu on the right hand side of this page.
I now call this activity the “New Year – Renewed Man Challenge”. Over time it’s help make a new man out of me. I dare you to participate.
Spiritually speaking, do you really want 2016 to be a repeat of 2015?
P.S. Even if you don’t participate in the challenge please download the evaluation form and use it for some end-of-year reflection. I’d love to hear from you if you take the challenge or work through the evaluation form. Just send me an email at Robby@GoodNewsForGuys.com.
P.S.S. I still have a long way to go toward spiritual maturity, but I’m no longer spiritually lukewarm.