Retreat is often a bad thing. The battle’s not going well, and the commander decides it’s time to back off.  RETREAT means you’re admitting defeat, running away.

I’m writing this morning from the retreat center at YMCA Of The Rockies in the mountains above Estes Park, Colorado. We’re on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park—right now I’m watching some elk in a meadow, maybe a hundred yards from this porch. Less than fifty miles from home, it feels like I’ve stumbled into another world.

In this beautiful place, surrounded by the beauty and stillness of God’s creation, “retreat” assumes a decidedly positive meaning. If life sometimes seems like a battle, perhaps a strategic retreat is a sensible tactic.

Maybe retreat isn’t running away so much as backing away for a better view.

Maybe constantly charging full-speed ahead isn’t the most effective approach. Maybe re-grouping, re-charging, re-supplying isn’t such a bad thing. Maybe there’s a different approach, a better plan of attack, and the only way to discern a more useful method involves shifting my perspective.

What a blessing to turn off the cell phone and engage in deep conversations without needing to interrupt for the next deadline. If this is running away, then perhaps I should make running away a habit.

By the time this article posts I’ll be back home, grateful for familiar surroundings, renewed energy, and fresh understanding. This morning I’m just being right here, believing that God has something to tell me in this magical place.

So for a few more moments I’m just going to watching the elk graze in the shadow of towering mountains, ponder the amazing fact that the water in the stream was snow just a few hours ago, and listen for God’s voice in the breeze.

Do we all need to retreat a little more often?
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Copyright 2010 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:
Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance
. Visit his web site

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