I love getting away on retreats, it does me both good and bad, the good far outweighs the bad but the bad is just as worthy of mention.
Looking for the most worthy analogy that might communicate this, I thought of Thorpe park, which is the largest and most robust theme park in the United Kingdom, or Europe even. Imagine spending a day at Thorpe park one day and the following day you have to spend it in a garden close to your house with a few swings and merry-go-rounds. The difference will be terribly obvious for anyone who has been in both of those spaces in a short period of time. Because of the glory of Thorpe park, you find that your experience at the garden is not as pleasant or enjoyable as what you saw and experienced in Thorpe park.
A person who has never been to Thorpe park will have a heightened excitement and joy of the garden/park close to the house because they are yet to see greater isn’t it? If Thorpe is the standard, the garden will be very bleh to one who has to go there after Thorpe.
That is always my experience after a retreat. While I feel refreshed and renewed, I feel terribly bored and dissatisfied with the world and all within it because my spirit has seen and desires more. I don’t remember the name of the book but I am certain it was CS Lewis, He was talking about the secret place and finished saying ‘while we are called to live in that realm, we cannot stay there forever, we must come back to this realm‘, he said this after highlighting the fact that a lot of Christians have come to be right with God but so wrong with human beings and that could be for several reasons including the fact that we can see and touch the brother next to us, but not God in heaven. He said it as an encouragement to believers never to believe that isolation was synonymous to holiness or mistake being spiritual with being unfriendly.
After retreats I often have a week or two of comforting myself with the ‘downgrade’ in life and living, but often excited at the realisation of the work ‘to have on earth as it is in heaven‘.
Apostle Selman will often say that we have been blessed and privileged to have the duality of realms, meaning being able to enjoy the realm that spirits dwell in and also the human realm because we are humans with a body, but I think beyond getting excited over that reality, we must ensure we are not living fully in one realm and neglecting the other which is even more powerful.
So I’m challenging you and myself as well, to enjoy both Thorpe (the secret place) as well as the garden close to us (everyday living), make the most of the duality of realms and use both realms as leverage in the other.
This realm is yummy, but my goodness, where we are headed? GLORIOUS!