Saturday, May 2, 2009

Down time

What do you do in your "down time"? Sometimes I pick up a book, go for a walk or bike ride, and occasionally turn on a movie.

This past month, as part of an intensive bible study program, I was to have a Spring Retreat and devote 12-24 hours to my relationship with God. They recommend that you do this somewhere other than home, somewhere that you feel closer to God. As I'm low on funds, traveling was out of the question. But, honestly, there are few other places that I feel closer to God than my own home. It's kind of like my own personal sanctuary.

With the other plans that I'd already had in place, carving out such a large chunk of time was difficult. Although I did manage to find 8 hours this past Sunday. The rest was spent in hour chunks here and there. (That's where I found the Red Umbrella story from earlier this week!)

When I was trying to narrow down how I should spend my time with God during this Spring Retreat I knew that my mind was too active with real life concerns to spend it quietly. While browsing through the movie section at the local library in search of good curriculum companions the thought came to me that a few faith movies may be just what I needed. Actually, I was searching for a Jane Goodall movie and when found the title led me to the rest!

Sunday I vegged out on the couch and indulged in some movie watching - 3 to be exact!

The first was a Jane Goodall movie, Reason for Hope. Ya'll know Jane, right? She's the "monkey lady" who lived in the jungles in Africa for many years studying the primates. Mrs. Goodall is considered responsible for much of the knowledge we now have available on animal life, in general, but specifically primates. Her story is amazing. The strength and courage she has to carry on...well, rent the movie!

Next was The Other Side of Heaven. John Groberg was a farm kid from Idaho. He is of the Mormon faith and was headed to the wilds of Tonga to serve his missionary time. The story takes you from Idaho, through the trip to Tonga, and shows the trials John had while serving God. This movie is based on the actual occurrences that John wrote about in his book, In the Eye of the Storm. This is one of the best, clean, action movies I've seen in a LONG time.

The last and most thought provoking was about Mother Teresa. Over my life Mother Teresa was consistently in the news. I knew that she was a Catholic nun living in India. My mother had explained that she had dedicated her life to caring for the sick there. I had no idea what that meant and to what extent she sacrificed until I saw this movie. Don't rent this movie - BUY IT!


The reoccurring theme in all of these movies was faith, selfless servitude, and appreciating the little things in life. While all of these people clearly had choices to live in comfort, they chose to step out and live by faith alone. They listened to their inner voice and followed it faithfully. Great things came from these decisions.

Be inspired to live lives of faith!


Thomas said...

I'm often intriqued by spiritual retreats. While I do get the concept - it seems too strategic, scheduled, and planned. God doesn't make appointments with you. God is always with you. why not always know that simple truth? And in knowing that, then you are always with God... not just on a retreat.

hoblib - the hobby of libing, ... I mean living.

Thumperdd said...

I think that's why I had such a hard time commiting to it. Heck, I talk to God so much during a regular day He probably wishes He could take the phone off the hook!

Alas, I made the agreement to follow this study out last year, so I did what it said. I think it's geared toward people who aren't quite as in touch with their spiritual side as I am.

Anyway, never hurts to spend a little extra time with God!