I am beginning to understand what a sacred trust is. It’s easy to see God’s part in it: the Bible is full of God fulfilling his promises to mankind. Many years after surrendering my life to Christ I am just beginning to experience the depth of the commitment I made. I have been faithful for many years to the offered challenges of the Lord, but just this year I have begun to hold what He asks of me as truly sacred. He has called me to offer retreats at a retreat center an hour from Charlotte. The first one was “Spiritual Formation” on January 30th. By mid-January I was very concerned that no one had signed up in spite of flyers in churches all over Charlotte. I wanted to cancel, I wanted to hide—all desires of my personality. And at one point mid-month I decided that I would just transform it into a private retreat for me, again from the wishes of my personality. While this was appealing, I didn’t do anything but talk to the Lord about it. Two weeks before the 30th I had one sign-up and hoped for more.
By the Monday before the retreat I had emailed the one sign-up that she was the only one. Would she like to come but have a more informal, Spirit-led retreat? She answered that she would. The weather forecast for that Friday was for snow, but I delayed canceling because Charlotte can have some quirky weather patterns. But by Thursday I had to acknowledge that snow was highly likely. In the email canceling the retreat I suggested to my one signup that we might do the same kind of retreat here in Charlotte: would she be interested? She was. So this week she’ll have a private retreat here at my home.
I was extremely reluctant to cancel that retreat no matter what. Looking back on the three weeks before the 30th, I took the retreat as a sacred trust, that the Lord had called me to offer it, that canceling it would have expressed a no-confidence vote in my Lord, and I couldn’t do that. This reluctance went way deeper in me than what I’ve been doing for the last 25 years—listening to God and doing what I have felt called to. Now I see it more as a sacred contract that I have signed, sealed and delivered, that must be upheld no matter what.
The lack of signups was not a deterrent—what do numbers mean? Not understanding God’s intention in this enterprise was not a deterrent—I don’t have to know what the meaning is. Does giving this private retreat for one person imply anything further? I don’t know. None of this matters for I must do this, not out of a sense of duty, but as a sacred trust that he has given me to perform.
I have crossed a bridge in this experience to a deeper mystery. God has called me for a long time to a rich adventuresome life and now he’s calling me deeper to: what? I have no idea; I don’t need to know. I guess with the Lord it’s all on a need to know basis. Well, I trust him, period.