I am now at a Silent Retreat, which started yesterday evening. I got caught in the KL Friday traffic jam that was made worse by rain. I arrived at the retreat place which is situated in a forest reserve. I was late but I arrived safe and sound despite getting lost a couple of times.
I was on a silent retreat last year and only upon signing up for this one that I realized that my last one was almost exactly a year ago. This would mean that I will be making a yearly getaway round about the same time every year. God willing.
The day passed by pretty quickly today and the experiences that I had were wonderful, they were amazing. What I have gone through today was like a year's worth of spiritual experiences. Yea, I may be exaggerating but that is how I feel right now. The experiences I had with God is simply amazing and I thank Him for it.
This round of silent retreat is entitled Prayerways, conducted by a Cenacle sister, Sister Francisca. When I signed up for this two weeks ago, the topic of the retreat did not really matter to me. I just wanted to get away and spend time to find myself and to find God. But the fact that the silent retreat is a prayer-related one is not by chance. I am learning so much and connecting with God and with myself in so many ways it will take me quite awhile to review and to take it all in again.
As mentioned, the reason why I got away is to find God again, to be in His presence and to dwell in Him and He in me. I felt that God was quite faraway lately, in my busyness, my mounting responsibilities and piles of work. And I did, I encountered him in so many ways. And two of them were just brilliant. Let me share them with you.
Since the silent retreat is being carried out in a forest reserve, it is natural that Sister Francisca got us to pray to God through His creation. I thought to myself, "I am not really a creation person. Creation do not speak to me like it does others. But I do love the sound of it." And I decided to pray through the sound of creation rather than sight. Right after I told myself that, a dragonfly practically flew into my face. It gave me a fright. And then I laughed. I was sure it was God who put it right at my face, literally, and asked me, "Why not My creation?" My response was, "Okay, Lord, Your creation, which is indeed marvelous. Who am I to say no? Let it speak Your wonders to me."
The LORD has spoken.
Then later in the evening, I was walking along a small hill and I stole some moments to softly sing Him a song, in spite of the fact that it is after all a silent retreat and I am intending to keep it that way. But I wanted so much to sing. The song that I found most appropriate is one of Grace Notes' - The Symphony of Praise by Steve Green. It is appropriate because I am right here in the very heart of nature and God's creation. And so I sang...very, very softly:
The composer and conductor of the universe
Steps before the orchestra of God
Creation lifts their finely crafted instruments
As all in heaven wildly applaud
The seasons well rehearsed begin with his downbeat
And on his cue the sun trumpets the dawn
The whirling wind swell in the mighty crescendo
With each commanding sweep of his baton
The oceans pounds the shore in march to his cadence
The galaxies all revolve in cosmic rhyme
The fall of raindrops all in wild syncopation
As lighting strikes and thunder claps in time...
And it was at this very moment that thunder actually sounded. It did and it rolled. And I stopped singing. I had goosebumps. Seriously, this cannot be a coincidence - no way. And silly ol' me, questioning about the presence of God and always asking where He is, is utterly speechless now.
The LORD has spoken.
Here I am, Lord.
Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.