In December 2019 Fuller Seminary invited me to go on a retreat with a cohort of pastors. I was excited to go and learn! The sessions began and soon we were invited to experience a “Retreat of Silence.” Truth is, I didn’t know it was that type of retreat. The instructions were to choose a place in the retreat area, sit, and be quiet. My mind immediately went to “I don’t have time for quiet!” I had left my busy schedule to learn, not to sit and be quiet.
As I walked to my room, I thought about calling my wife and letting her know I was coming home. I decided to call her after I took a nap. After my rest, I chose to walk outside and sat on a bench for about 20 minutes. In that moment, I heard the Holy Spirit ask me a question, “Are you ready to listen now?” It had been such a long time since I heard that voice. I responded “What do you mean? I’m always ready to listen” The response was “No you’re not. Actually, it seems like you don’t need me. You have it all figured out.”
I began to weep.
The Holy Spirit convicted my heart profoundly that day! I learned that my mind was so cluttered with voices other than God’s that it was hard to hear God’s voice. The retreat changed me greatly and I began to implement silent retreats and sabbaticals for my entire staff and leadership at church. I began to teach on the power of silence and time with God. I’m grateful for the retreat of silence. Because of those moments, I now operate from a place of peace.
-Pastor Robert Rocha Jr.
I distinctly remember this retreat with Pastor Robert. It was a reminder that if we create even a small space in our cluttered lives, we can hear the life-giving voice of the Holy Spirit. My invitation to you is to “be like Robert” and see what the Spirit is speaking to you.
We want to provide a place for you to do just this through Retreats of Silence via Zoom.
Each Retreat of Silence will include a retreat host, spiritual practices for you to engage, and community to connect with. We’d love for you to join one or both of these retreats from