Our fast-paced, noise-infused world provides little time for silence—for deep, dedicated, extended communication with God. Time Away offers welcome guidance for getting “off the beaten path” to pursue rich communication with the Creator. It presents a clear plan for deciding to make a retreat and then planning it, doing it, and bringing the gifts from it back into everyday life.
Author and Professor Emeritus of Christian Spirituality Ben Johnson, calls a retreat “a regular time to be away from the routine of life in order to focus your attention upon God and God’s intention for you.” He discusses how to prepare for this time away and suggests retreat outlines ranging from a half day to five days. Dr. Johnson offers questions and journaling topics to support individuals in dealing with the big questions and issues of their lives. He presents ways to enter into silence and reminds readers that this withdrawal from daily life can help people clarify or even change their perspective. Dr. Paul Lang’s chapter describes the particulars of a monastic retreat, and appendices offer lesson plans, tips for retreat leaders, and a Liturgy for Lauds and Vespers.
A retreat is “a time to sit quietly and wait for our souls to catch up with us—a time to invite our souls back into the center … to encounter the true Self, and to hear the voice of God.” With the encouragement and direction in Time Away, individuals can begin or enhance a lifelong habit of stepping outside the routine of life to enjoy the blessings of focused time with the Creator of the universe.