It has been a while since I have had time to do any non-essential reading, and so it is rather ironic that the title of this chapter is Retreating from Activity.
As ever, looking to the model of Jesus, Fernando points out how regularly Jesus took time out, especially before particularly significant moments in His ministry, to fast and pray and spend time with God. How I need repeatedly to be reminded of this. If my Lord took time out, how much more should I.
Fernando gives several personal examples of the benefits of mini or more extended ‘retreats’ and includes a brief and balanced discussion of fasting at the end of the chapter (encouraging Christian leaders to take advantage of this form of spiritual discipline, though helpfully showing it is not a command).
“Our ministry is not a reaction to people’s rejection of us but a response to God’s acceptance of us.
So in times of crisis, we should develop the discipline of retreating to God’s presence in order to get our strength from him. Then we can return to act as his representatives who have been called and strengthened by him.” (p68)