November this year was full and pastoral ministry ended up focusing a lot on bereavement care with families experiencing loss. At some point during those weeks, my wife and I decided to try and get away for 2-3 days in early Advent so we could pray, read, and do some planning and writing. It was a good decision.
This past week we spent two nights in a cabin near Floyd, Virginia close to the Blue-ridge Parkway. Though it was a working retreat, the time away was a spiritual salve for the soul. The air B&B we rented was located on approximately 14 acres with at least three walking trails. When we did venture out and take a few hikes, the reward was a nice bench and picnic table directly next to a mountain stream that runs through the property. Not a bad place to dive deeper into my Advent sermon preparation while also planning more details for a January series I will be launching next year on the book of Daniel.
First time I have tried to take a short retreat in Advent – but after returning from this one, I may well start a new Advent tradition as pastor.