A Thought From Penhurst

I have just come back from a wonderful retreat.

If you ever get chance, I would recommend a visit to the Penhurst Retreat Centre.  The setting is amazing.  The food, terrific.  The welcome warm and friendly.  This was my first visit to Penhurst and I was soon made to feel like ‘one of the family.’ 

The retreat itself was guided by the delightful Jack and Sandra.  Their gentle and relaxed approach, coupled with the setting, made prayer and reflection a real joy. My only regret is, the retreat was not longer!

I am one of those people who like to journal, and the retreat gave me the chance to really explore some knotty thoughts and bring them to God in prayer. Jack and Sandra were very good at giving prompts that led to deep reflection.

Early one morning, I awoke with a thought rattling around my head that has taken (and is taking) some working through. Naturally, I turned to my journal and made the note;

Sometimes, the process of prayer involves letting go

Don’t worry, I am not heading into the realms Disney and Frozen!

There was an important truth that I needed to work out here. There are the obvious things that need to be let go of. The writer to of Hebrews says;

let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles

(Hebrews 12 vs. 1)

I have often thought of this verse in terms of the negative things in our lives. The words that hinders in the Greek means “weighted down.” When we identify, confess and seek God’s forgiveness for the “hinderances and sins” we often feel much lighter in our spirits.

But, what began to dawn in my thinking was, not everything that weighs me down is a negative. I can hold, very tightly, onto things that I see as “mine” and not want to release others into. I began to feel God asking me “are you prepared to release _______ so that you can come deeper with me?”

Of course, the answer should be “yes” but, letting go is not always that easy!

And so, what began as a journal note at Penhurst, continues to be worked through. I pray for sensitivity to God’s leading and directing as I pray that you too, will be open to God’s leading in your hearts

One thought on “A Thought From Penhurst

  1. Sean shows the right approach for a Retreat. To have a journal is not only practical. In the writing down of thoughts and sometimes the culmination of ideas in a statement of intent means that a positive outcome and direction can happen. It is good last have people that become confidants where a “bouncing board” effect happens. The factor the excellent Retreat venue helped enormously means that he is now a promoting agent receiving a commission! Only joking – I think!

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