“New Personal Insights from my Italy Christian Meditation Retreat”
Just recently I hosted a Christian meditation retreat in Italy that drew 20 men and women from around the world who desired to learn how to meditate, deepen their practice, and find inner healing. I’m so excited to once again see the transformation that takes place when we feel loved and supported in a safe space, purify our hearts and minds from mental and emotional toxins, and trust God through the uncertainty as well as our pains and fears.
Each time, I also come away with new revelations or ways of being that I can use to refine my life even further. What I gained from spending 8 days and 7 nights in the unfamiliar country of Italy and the responsibility of 20 retreaters was 1) I can REALLY trust God and, 2) To learn to live in the mystery.
According to Father Richard Rohr, a pioneer in the art of contemplation, many Christians have a difficult time living in the mystery and uncertainty of life. Everything is either black or white, hot or cold, yes or no, like or dislike, but when it comes to just being in the “unknown” we simply can’t handle it. We have a hard time resting in what is and henceforth desperately try to bring closure to any and all circumstances that take us out of our comfort zone.
However, living in mystery and uncertainty leaves room for God to work through us and for us. During the retreat, there were many occasions when we had to live in mystery as flights were delayed, busses were missed, GPS didn’t work, misplaced luggage, lost cell phone, and a passport was seized; yet in every case, God performed “real miracles” that defied logic, and we were all the better for it.
I am learning more and more to be thankful for the mishaps, the dark days, and the “unknowings” in my life, because there always seems to be a blessing at the conclusion of each: a new revelation or insight, a breakthrough, greater freedom, or a deeper connection with God.
When we press into God by inviting Him into the midst of our mysteries, His love and light dispel the fear and darkness. It is then that we can rest in the mystery and be ok, allowing Father God to work through us, and our circumstances to bring the greatest wholeness or healing. This often requires spiritually holding God’s hand while taking a lot of deep breaths along the way.
Life is not about duality. Everything can’t always be labeled in terms of right or wrong. Sometimes, many times, we have to wade in those meantime moments. This is the gray or middle ground between the beginning and the end of an expectation or desire. Learning how to find comfort in this vague area is a spiritual discipline we must all learn to embrace again and again.
Every situation, encounter, crisis, or mishap is just another opportunity for us to keep our hearts open so that we can practice forgiveness, loving, and releasing our burdens while resting in God our Father.
Can you hold onto your faith in God and enjoy the mystery of not knowing when or how, and just be? Can you find the joy in living in the present moment without trying to control the outcome or defining it with labels, likes, or dislikes? Can you get comfortable in the neutrality of the situation and life itself? If so, you can become liberated from the bondage and responsibility of controlling life and just flow with it instead.
Perhaps right now you’re in the mystery of:
- Finding your next job
- A shaky marriage
- A career move
- A chronic disease
- A new love interest
- A financial situation
- A business endeavor
Knowing that God has a plan for your life, you can get in alignment with God with child-like faith and trust. As you encounter the mystery in your life, allow every day to be an adventure by relinquishing control, letting go of your own expectations, and becoming excited with what God can and will do when you trust and rely on Him in peace and joy.
I am learning and embracing how to be thankful for the mysteries and the unfolding of new adventures each and every day!
*Enjoyed this article or have a comment about living in mystery or uncertainty? Please leave a comment below. Also, see my Italy Retreat Photo Blog and Reviews, click link or photo below.