Sunday, May 9, 2010

Retract, Retreat, and Refuel

Take a 360 degree look at your surroundings and you will notice that we are bombarded by all these advertisements and articles which promise one ultimate thing:instant gratification. We are being taught to get everything in a split of a second, from losing 7 lbs in a week under the tutelage of Jennifer Aniston to getting an instant healing under the miraculous power of Benny Hinn.

Yes, we want everything now, and it has to be now. Why? Because we are told to be hurry, to follow the world's accelerating pace. I think it is just about time when one-minute microwavable food is not fast enough, and waiting 1.02 second for Google to display its search is a waste of time.

In contrary to the contemporary culture, The Bible teaches a very opposite approach. We frequently heard the exclamation "Hurry Up!", but The Bible tells us to slow down and be still in the Lord. When all the instant messages, email, text keep us occupied, The Bible urges us to slow down and reflect. The Bible teaches a very aberrant approach: retract, retreat and refuel. Retract from the noisy culture, Retreat to a quiet place, and Refuel your spiritual tank.

And with regard to that, I found the prayer of St Anselm to be profound and relevant, especially in times like this when people have to learn that is is okay to press the "esc" button, or it is even highly recommended to shut down your computer, your ipod, your blackberry, facebook notification to escape for a moment and listen to the voice of God.

Come now, little man, turn aside
for a little while from your daily employment,
escape for a moment
from the tumult of your thoughts

Put aside your weighty cares,
let your burdensome distractions wait,
free yourself awhile for God,
and rest awhile in Him.

Enter the inner chamber of your soul
shut out everything except God
and that which can help you in seeking Him,
and when you have shut the door, seek Him.

Now my whole heart, say to God,
"I seek your face,
Lord it is your face I seek."

St Anselm

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