I believe that Jesus summons us all into the wilderness at various times of our lives. Being called to reflect a little more constantly and without distraction as we set time aside for a retreat, means that God gets to speak to our spirits and form us in his ways in a stronger and more effective way. This sort of formation in the quiet is essential in the growth of holiness in our lives. Many will respond to this by saying that they are too busy with work or children and so on. Sorry, I used to buy that sought of an answer but I do not anymore. If we put a high enough value on an aspect of the spiritual life we will move the necessary mountains in order to see that we make a place for it in our lives. I truly believe that it is all a matter of priorities.

Jesus made it a number one priority to draw aside from ministry from time to time in order to ‘recharge his batteries’ so to speak; to ensure that his relationship with his Father in Heaven was always in good shape. We have to take our cue from Jesus in this and prioritize time aside with God in prayer each day and then every now and then, treat ourselves to a retreat where the focus for a few days is God alone. This is all a matter of life and death for our souls as without such time with God the danger is that our spirits will wither away being consumed with the worries and anxieties of the world.

In the Gospel today we read that Jesus retreats into the hills before making one of the most important decisions of his life – the choice of his apostles. Herein lies the future of his ministry once he returns to the Father. That the Church is still functioning today, 2000 years later, is testimony to the fact that he made a good choice! When we make big decisions in our lives we must be willing to do the groundwork that will ensure that we make a good decision. Part of that groundwork is setting aside time in prayer to consult what God might want to say to us about the issue at hand.

I wonder how faithful we are to really putting before God the decisions of our lives or if we make them and then ask God to bless them? These are very different approaches! The first is a recipe for good decision making, the second for disaster. We cannot expect God to ‘make things better’ just because we have committed to them – he may not be committed to the path of action we have chosen!

Do I consult God enough about the decisions I make in my life?

Holy Spirit, please speak into the decisions I make in my life so that I will be ensured that what I do I do with the blessing of God and not just according to my own will.