There's a lot of thoughts floating through my head today, having just made an eight day silent retreat based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. I'm planning one writing about several key insights over the next couple of weeks, and I thought I just as well might start today.
During the past three retreats, my director has been a man named Stephen. On the surface, one might assume that he and I would approach things differently. The main reason is that Stephen is a retired Episcopal priest. As I filled out the questionnaire for my first retreat, I had four options to choose from for director. The first was a Jesuit priest, the second was a laywoman from Georgetown University, the third was Stephen, and the fourth was whoever was available.
Those who know me well would never have guessed that I would have checked off the box marked "whoever was available." I like to be in more control than that, but on that particular day, I had the sense that I needed to be more Spirit-led, so, that's what I checked. I ended up with Stephen, and it turned out that God knew what He was doing. It was also a great validation of my instinct to trust more. Now when we get together, it's as if I'm greeting an old friend. All the groundwork has been laid in the previous years. Each session now leads me deeper into my friendship with not only Stephen, but more importantly, God.
Sometimes, we have to think outside the box, be a bit more trusting, a little more prayerful. It would not have been the end of the world had I gotten one of the other folks leading that first silent retreat. But I'm glad I ended up with Stephen, who although he is from a different denomination, loves the Spiritual Exercises in a very deep and rich way, and he wants to share his wisdom with others. He's helped me learn a wonderful new way to pray, and the ability to embrace a spirituality that reminds each of us to "find God in all things." How can those not be great things? Where have you found God today? Have you looked?