Monday, October 7, 2013

A Journey to Emmaus

Luke 24:13-35

13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.

17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

19 “What things?” he asked.

“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”

25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

This past weekend, I attended an Emmaus Retreat.

We are not allowed to share specifics about what happened at the retreat but I can tell you that it was powerful and oh so very real. If you have an opportunity to go, do it! 

What I can discuss is the circumstances that gave me the opportunity to attend. About a week ago, I got this message from my friend, Sheila: "Thought of you with this retreat. It is beyond any experience I have ever had. I know I am sending this kinda last minute, but that's how I by day! If you can perhaps sneak away for a weekend, and don't have a race, it's a perfect place to gather and reflect (and take some awesome runs around the beautiful grounds)." 

Usually, I would stew on something like that for a few days but (a) it was time sensitive (b) I knew that my stress level had reach an all time high and this was *just* what I needed.

I replied that I could go and got all the wheels set in motion for it. The weirdest thing was that I looked at my calendar and saw that we had next to no plans. This is a VERY RARE thing for us and the weirdest thing of all was that I didn't see a long run on my calendar. Huh?!?!?!?

 So, here's what happened...

Way back in the beginning of the Summer when I was calculating out weeks for my marathon plan, I must have made a mistake and skipped a week. I only just realized it when I realized that I had run my longest run of 22 miles with 4 weeks to go until the marathon. For those not well versed in marathon plans, that insane run usually happens when you have 3 weeks left to go. Because I had done that 22 miler the weekend before, it made it much easier to say "yes" to a retreat. Ummmmm, that is soooo a God thing, right?

On that Friday, I packed up my bags and got dropped off. Again, I can't share the details of the weekend but I can tell you that I didn't bring my phone or my purse or my calendar. And it was soooooo awesome. I needed that time away. Though it wasn't exactly a relaxing weekend (they keep you pretty busy), it was well worth the time. 

And bonus! I did get a chance to run during a Saturday afternoon break. It was over 80° and I only went 4 miles but a run is a run, right?

So, if you are contemplating an Emmaus retreat, I hope that God shows you that it is possible and well worth it.


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