Few people have ever found the hidden treasure in observing a special kind of Christian spiritual retreat called a retreat of silence. Some have other ways to describe it: meditation, listening to the inner self, hearing the voice of God. Whatever you prefer to call it, a day of silence gives breath to the soul. For Christians, this kind of retreat can be truly spiritual. The traditional retreat format includes games, activities, and lectures, which can unfortunately take the place of actually communicating with God. The day of silence is just the opposite. The only things you do all day are talk to God and listen for His voice.
We are inundated with sound everywhere we go. The car radio blasts on when I turn the key. The grocery store is playing Aerosmith in “musak! “ And you can learn how to speak Italian when visiting the rest room in your favorite restaurant, as they play language tapes over the speaker system! Planes zoom. Trains screech. The TV blares with commercials. Did you ever notice that you can virtually never escape the noise? Just as a body needs rest, so does the spirit. A quiet place is one anecdote to our stress.
As a Christian, I know how good it is to connect in spirit with God. So I take a Christian spiritual retreat once a year, at least. The idea is very simple. Find the most quiet, peaceful place you can. A retreat center often has single rooms available for these kinds of guests. Perhaps you prefer to stay at a local hotel for the day. Ask a good friend who will be traveling if you could use their home for the day while they are gone. This spiritual retreat for any Christian does not have to cost a dime. Just be sure to find a comfortable spot with no phones, no TV, and no radio.
Most people who plan a day of silence prefer to find an outdoor setting. Some prefer to hike, others to sit. If this sounds like the kind of spiritual retreat that fits you, be sure to bring along several things to make your experience more enjoyable. Bring the following: cushion, journal, pen, portable alarm clock, snacks, insect repellant, hat, sunscreen, hat, warm jacket, hiking shoes, and water bottle. The day is yours …indulge in the solitude!