The irony isn’t lost on me, that to retreat next week I’m cramming as much as I can into this week. All the while wondering if I’ll get it all done, and if I do, whether I’ll be so washed out come Monday that I’ll not be good for anything.
The venue is the amazing El Palmeral near Elche in Spain, and our topic is Adventures in Prayer. I have the benefit of having led a similar retreat last year, but I also know that God will have something different and special for this year’s guests, and I want to be open to how he wants to move and work and reveal himself.
An image that came to me this morning as I woke early, things buzzing around my mind, has partly been inspired by a visit of Liz Babbs last spring. She came on the day of my daughter’s yeargroup’s assembly – a very big deal for a six-year-old. So Liz was a wonderful sport and joined in the audience with me, cheering along CutiePyeGirl as she said her sole line (“A ladybird! A red, spotted ladybird, sitting in the grass!”) and also latching onto the concept of the symmetrical butterfly. This image of the butterfly has been profound for Liz this summer, and she even found amazing butterfly-inspired gifts for the kids recently.
So when pondering and praying this morning, I had a butterfly come fluttering through my mind’s eye. I felt how butterflies reflect God’s glory, each side in synch with the other. So too is God in synch with us – gently leading us and coaxing us off the ground, that our wings might soar in the way he intended them to. All the while, we might be feeling fear and anxiety, but soon we leave the ground and experience the wind rushing around us through the freedom of flight.
The retreat preparations, launch of Chine Mbubaegbu’s fabulous book tomorrow night, and magazine deadlines, of course, are still on the menu. But I’m moving forward with my face aimed upward, looking to the sky, hoping to glimpse the wings of the wind to carry me onward.
Do you fly?