For the Published article: http://blogs.tallahassee.com/community/2014/04/06/retreat/
It’s good to retreat from time to time for self reflection and regrouping. Sometimes we have to travel to an island to gain perspective of the main land. This weekend I went on the Annual Pensacola-Tallahassee Diocesan Men’s Retreat with about 80 other men with the mission of getting away, listening to hear a life lesson, and discerning my calling/vocation.
We had two days and two nights of spiritual talks, small groups, self time, prayer, church service, and recreation time with similar minded gentlemen. The small group questions were intriguing and engaging. We each had our individual matters to work on, but it was good to be around other masculine men. Fr Crawford had me laughing with his quirky personality that came along with prolific messages, “humility humility humility humility humility humility humility…. we’re not talking wuss here fellas.”
During personal space, we were encouraged to do something peaceful that we enjoy to do and listen to the quiet. I enjoy writing; I wrote God a letter while listening to the waves of the Gulf of Mexico. I almost put my letter in my empty water bottle to toss it into the water, but I didn’t want to litter. The thought was the same. It was healing to write down personal troubles and give it up to God.
Everyone received different take-aways. From the few guys I asked what they gained from the retreat: some took away how to be a better man in their personal relationships, others felt they were there to help others as leaders, some said they figured out how to better organize the juggle of time between work and home. I had a slightly different take-away. For years, I have focused on helping others as much as I possibly can. While still being motivated to help others, I feel like for a short time it will be best for everyone if I focused on helping myself. Before I can love others, I must love myself.
I’ve been working on a book idea for two years. The closer I get to a finishing story, the more the story changes. It’s time for me to quit a few community efforts and think about helping myself. I have to target what makes me happy, what makes joy, and do it everyday over and over. Maturity is being mindful about what we are doing and where our decisions will take us. Fr Tim gave us a homework assignment; he told us to go home and write down a goal for next year. Leave it up to me to take the writing assignment to the next level by publishing it. My goal for this time next year is to finish my book, “Young Man and The Sea of People”. In all truth, I need to hurry up and get this book out before I have to change the title to middle aged man and the sea.