Dreaming big… The "Come Away" Edition

(This is what I get for procrastinating and surfing instead of studying…)

Gary Means wrote:
“If you could start any ministry, and have it fully funded by an anonymous source who did not want to be credited, what would you do? I guess I should limit the amount, otherwise everyone would just end world hunger, etc. So, let’s say you were given a mere $5,000,000.”

Oh. Dream big, huh. OK, here goes.

A retreat center. It would be called “Come Away.”

There’d be several small cabins. With a huge used bookstore. With a brewpub. With a bunch of outdoor recreation specialists doing what they love to bring the love of God’s creation back into the hearts of tired, weary, over-churched and exhausted lay and clergy visitors.

A place where you are able to fully “retreat” as much as you’d like. Or not. A part of the center would be a place for silence (that’s for my beloved bearded spouse). Another part would be full of art, and music, and laughter, and creative tasks like an on-going quilt project. There’d be flowers and an organic garden. And people could weed, tend or just walk in the gardens, but no kibitzing unless you are on your knees getting your hands dirty, too!

A place to come worship in the outdoor chapel in the trees, or in a glassed-in (solar fueled) sanctuary. (It goes without saying that I would want it to be ‘green’ in terms of power and use of resources!) The sanctuary would double as a concert hall, dance hall, preaching practicum, meeting space for conferences.

There’d be a place for respite care of elderly parents. Or children. Or anyone for whom the caregiver wants to be with — but not to do their physical care for 24/7. So yes, there’d be a medical clinic and professionals too.

There’d be a place for job training. In hospitality industry. In food service. In the arts. In pastoral care. In medical specialties. In education or childcare. In landscaping. In physical plant maintenance, construction, etc. In retail sales. In just about anything that is involved in running a retreat center!

But I see this need for people to come away. They spend themselves, pour themselves out for their Lord, for their love of serving. They do it gladly. But they become tired. Very tired.

Evan Earwicker’s song is running through my mind…

I can see the river run, in the city of my God
And the people now they run to bring their offering of praise
But can I steal away for a moment here with You?
I hear a whisper from the throne, “let’s get away and be alone”
You know I love it when you say
Come away, your invitation now has come
Come away, come away and fall in love
Come away, come away and be romanced
Come away, I am asking for this dance.

Yes. Even an extrovert, hyper-committed, over-achiever knows her need… to come away and be in God’s Presence.


OK – some day. No more dreaming… back to work!!


P.S. Your turn! Answer the question! … and then link to it in the comments.

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