Continuing on my sharing of my weekend at Powell House in November I want to share another mini-revelation.  It's very easy to fall into the trap of judging if a "retreat" was good or bad.  Some years seem to have more powerful moments than others but does that make them better?  Opening ourselves up to the Holy Spirit, making ourselves vulnerable, is like undergoing surgery.  After the operation you have to wait for the anesthesia to wear off, then you have to handle the pain and do whatever is necessary to regain "normal" physical functionality.  It's similar with God.  Sometimes like one of my dental experiences the anesthesia isn't enough to hide the pain and the whole experience is painful.  Other times you can be euphoric.  Both times you eventually have to deal with getting back to normal functionality.

The difference is that with the Holy Spirit the procedure often works like a time release capsule.  As you take the time to sift through the events of the weekend and reflect on who said what and who you met and shared meals with you can sense that soft voice speaking out of the silence telling you that you are free of this chain, ready for this trip, or even that you are not the same person you were before the weekend:  that the tumor you might not have even known was a problem has been successfully removed.  Sometimes you know what is happening on the weekend and are fully aware a tumor has been removed.  Sometimes you start waking up days or maybe weeks afterward realizing you have been much more joyful and patient recently.  Time with God and fellow believers is never wasted.  God honors our faithfulness in taking time to be with Him as part of His Body.  Time has to pass before a seed that falls to the ground, sprouts, grows and bears fruit.  Judging time spent with his Body prematurely  is like a baby Swan deciding he's an ugly duckling. 

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