Hiking the Lighthouse Trail at Palo Duro Canyon yesterday, I came across a large group of high schoolers and their guides as I neared the end of my morning journey. One young girl was staring at her android talking to the girl next to her and exclaimed, "I got a signal!" I took the android from her, threw it to the ground, and smashed it with a stone and said, "There, I just did you a favor." I then continued with my walk.
Perhaps I exaggerate a bit. I walked past her when she said it and just noted the comment and continued walking, but I heard her begin to tell the other young lady about what she was reading on Facebook. The truth is we make fun of such things as the fixation to technology, but what is more likely to hold a child's attention, a hike of some six miles to an ancient geological formation or a post of some kids posing silly? And, if it is that important, take such things up from the kids or bar them from the activity. Perhaps even suggest that a stand alone camera will be necessary if they want pictures to post later, or that you as the adult will bring one.
The fact of the matter is that getting away from the world and retreating in order to sharpen one's mind isn't just a good idea, it is necessary. David spent time alone in the desert and going from land to land escaping Saul's wrath prior to his ascension to king (1 Samuel). Christ spent time in the desert alone "to be tempted" prior to his ministry (Matthew). Paul talks about his time with Jesus in the desert after his conversion (Galatians). What do these things teach us?
Alone time with God, allowing God to "sharpen us" (Proverbs 27) is needed. God prepares us for the battles of this life as is demonstrated in these accounts. David was made ready to be king. Christ was readied for his ministry. Paul was as well. Essentially, we are taught to turn to him in prayer asking for his guidance. He ministers to us through his Word, sending his Spirit to strengthen us. He teaches us his ways as opposed to our own as we spend time in reflection. Finally, he prepares our minds because of the time we have had with him as well as our hearts.
Where do you go to retreat with Christ, to hear his Word and to sharpen your mind for the battles of this life? Pray that you are given that time so needed as we deal with the issues that face us as men in a world filled with temptations that take us away from our roles as husbands, fathers, brothers, friends, and disciples in this world.
Hope Men's Ministry