Have you taken a family vacation this summer? We have. We went to Washington DC. We burned the candle on both ends trying to get all of the museums, monuments, and exhibits in before our week was over. It was somewhat exhausting, yet fun. I teased the family saying I needed a vacation to get over my vacation. Sometimes vacations are exhausting and sometimes they are very relaxing; however, the purpose of them is to have quality family time away and invest extravagantly in one another without the distractions of our day to day life.
Retreats, camps, and encounter weekends are like vacations. They are a time to get away from the daily routine and responsibilities and focus on our relationship with Jesus. Many people refer to them as mountaintop experiences and most Christians have had at least one they can recall. While the retreat is great, just like a family vacation, it has to end. You have to come home and face the real world full of problems and distractions. How you handle your relationships, both with God and family, once you are home will define the relationship.
Do you make time to meet with the Lord, not just talking but listening to Him? Do you start your day with the Lord or does He get your leftovers as you are falling into bed exhausted? Without daily investment in your relationship with Jesus, you will not have intimacy. The Lord knew we could not do life alone. Jesus taught the disciples to ask the Father to give them daily what they need, and He wasn’t just speaking of physical needs [Matthew 6:11, Luke 11:3].
When the Lord led the Israelites out of Egypt to the Promise Land, He provided food and water for them daily. He made it so they could not store up weeks worth at a time or the food would spoil. He was teaching them to come to Him daily, building relationship [Exodus 16:31-35]. Job, with all of his struggles, stated “I have not departed from the commands of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread.” [Job 23:12] Job understood his need for the Word of God, in good times and in bad.
Family vacations are important and bless the relationships within the family and retreats are important and bless your relationship with the Lord. However, it is the day to day walk that builds true intimacy. Have you talked with Jesus today? He’s waiting for you.