Our Purpose“Come with me by yourself to a quiet place and get some rest” Mark 6:31.
The retreat ministry of Canaan’s Rest is intended to foster the contemplative dimension of the spiritual journey. In contemplation we enter with the heart into the presence of the Lord, as opposed to “standing alongside” observing with our minds. We are in “communion with” rather than simply “thinking about” God. Intimacy of heart, more than understanding with the mind, defines contemplation.
Contemplation is being rediscovered by many ordinary Christians as a means to not only satisfy a deep hunger for God, but also to become more aware of His presence in daily life. Rather than relying on descriptions about God, along with long-practiced devotional patterns, many followers are experiencing God at a deeper, intuitive level. As Theopan observed many years ago, “The primary things are to stand before God with the intellect in the heart, and to go on standing before Him unceasingly day and night.” At Canaan’s Rest, contemplation is encouraged by spending time alone, knowing that God is already present within us through the Holy Spirit. Retreatants become aware of God’s presence by entering the solitude of Canaan’s Rest. Therefore, silence and solitude are an essential part of a prayer at Canaan’s Rest.
Silence is above all the absence of speech. In silence we withdraw from the normal activities of everyday life in order to listen to God. Silence creates an inner peace in which to encounter God. Solitude is the outer space in which silence can be cultivated. In solitude, we choose to withdraw from other people and activities for the purpose of being along with God. Silence moves us beyond solitude, but without solitude there can be little silence.
Canaan’s Rest has been prayerfully set aside to provide a “spiritual space” (Ps. 18:19) in which retreatants can explore their inner life through scriptural meditation, silence, solitude, and spiritual direction. Because of this, we ask that you honor the silence and solitude of Canaan’s Rest. Our prayer is that you will become increasingly aware of God, who dwells at the center of our being. There are resources available in the Great Room for you to use. Please leave them on the coffee table before you finish your stay. And if you would like additional spiritual direction, please be sure to let Al or Judy know.