That’s what my GPS has to do when I miss a turn, or when I choose to ignore the British girl who seems to live in my phone.
“Ree-calibrating,” she says calmly. She’s usually able to suggest an alternate route fairly quickly, but there are times when I get so far off track, even my poor little GPS girl doesn’t know what to do.
“Ree-calibrating. Ree-calibrating.” Her voice remains calm, but the little arrow that’s meant to point me in the right direction jerks madly back and forth, trying to figure out where in the world I am. Fiercely attempting to get me back on course.
Recalibrating. It’s a word I’ve heard the Holy Spirit whisper over my soul lately.
You need to slow down, Joanna, the Lord has said. Let me help you rediscover what really matters.
A Divine Reset
There’s something about the start of a new year that brings the word “recalibrate” to mind. January 1st is so packed with promise, offering a divine reset of sorts. A chance to start over.
A fresh page in my calendar awaits. A fresh page in my life.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to leave the old year and mindlessly rush into the new, quickly filling the empty pages with stuff. Good stuff and not-so-good stuff. Important things and not-so-important things.
To counteract that mindless type of living, I’m learning I must stop and inquire of the Lord rather than trust my own internal GPS. I’ve got to be willing to wait on Him for directions rather than race ahead.
My husband gave me an early Christmas gift this mid-December. An unexpected window of time alone with God to help me get back on track after an intense year of work and ministry.
Though it was just two days and nights away from home, the personal retreat gave me uninterrupted time to just be with Jesus. To pour out my heart to Him. To lay out my dreams, my fears, my needs, my exhaustion.
It was a sweet and tender time. No spiritual fireworks or earth-shaking revelations. Just a tangible sense of love as God’s presence wrapped around me. Yes, the Lord revealed some needed direction, but more importantly, that time together recalibrated my soul.
Get-Away with God
Oh, how I want that for you, my friend! I want you to experience the refreshing clarity and settled-ness that comes from spending extended time alone with the Lord.
So here’s a few tips for your own getaway with God. (By the way, it doesn’t have to happen in December or January – whatever works for you, your family and your work schedule.)
- Find a day or two that you can set aside for you and the Lord – even 4-5 hours is beneficial. It needs to be long enough that your soul can settle into the rest God offers, but leave enough time to really seek His heart for direction
- Find a place free of distractions and interruptions – preferably away from home:
- A hotel or retreat center (if you can afford it)
- A friend’s cabin (like I did) or an out-of-town neighbor’s house (with permission, of course)
- A quiet room at your church or community center, etc.
- Take what you need to cultivate your inner life with the Lord
- Your Bible and journal
- A devotional or other book God’s laid on your heart for this time
- Worship music
- Take what you need to recalibrate your outer life
- Your calendar
- List of responsibilities and concerns – prewritten or written during getaway
- Leave behind anything that will distract
You know what that means. If you can’t stay off social media, leave your computer or I-pad at home. Turn off your cell phone – or at least the notifications. Share a landline phone number for emergencies.
This time isn’t “me” time, so the spa-day can wait. And that best-selling novel you’ve been dying to read should probably be left behind.
However, confession time…if I’m spending the night, I sometimes take a DVD along for an evening activity. (Jesus and I have been known to watch a chick-flick together and eat popcorn now and then.)
Whatever you do during this time, make sure you invite the Lord to join you.
Making the Most of Your Time
Don’t feel like you have to follow some sort of schedule for your retreat/getaway. You don’t have every moment planned. In fact, I suggest that you come with little or no agenda, except to meet with the Lord.
Don’t go for what you can get from God – instead, go for what you can give…The gift of your undivided attention and an undistracted heart.
There may be things you want to bring before the Lord, important things for which you need guidance. But let your main goal be to connect in a deeper, sweeter way with Jesus.
I can guarantee you this…If you go with this kind of heart, you won’t be disappointed! For when we draw near to God with a sincere heart, God promises to draw near to us (James 4:8).
Refresh & Recalibrate – Part 2
Next week, I’ll go into more details about what a personal retreat looks like for me, and I’ll include a few resources to help you shape one of your own.
Until then, please pray about making room for a personal “Get-Away with God” in your calendar. Some people do it once a year or quarterly. Other people do a mini-retreat once a month.
I’m hoping to be more strategic with my calendar, inserting several extended times away with the Lord this year. And I’m committed to helping my husband do the same. They are so important.
Listen to what Jesus said to His disciples in Mark 1:35 after an exhausting period of life and ministry…
“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
He makes the same offer to you and me today. Come get refreshed. Let me give you a divine reset for your soul.
I’d love to hear from you…Have you spent an extended time alone with the Lord? What did it look like for you?
“Refresh & Recalibrate Pt 2: A Personal Retreat with God” now available…