The book pens a journey with Mary, the mother of Jesus, as a framework for pondering life lessons, or songs, of grace-filled "yes" to God.

This blog continues to explore the implications of these songs in daily life. Here you will find ten additional reflections on each of Mary's "songs." May they continue to encourage your heart. ~Carla

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Retreat Badminton

They started it. I had called the retreat center in March with more than a little angst. For reasons beyond my control, I needed to find a place for THESE DATES this summer. I had just a few people--but no flexibility with the timing. The retreat director initially said, “Well, it’s a bit complicated. Let me work on it.” And three days later: “Come. We’ll find room for you.”

I began to appreciate what “complicated” meant when Pam and I pulled up to the retreat center—only to be greeted by several friendly nuns and dozens of adolescent girls. "St. Theresa's Camp" was gathering at the same time.

No official looking person was anywhere near the front desk so we looked at a map of the facility, found the keys to our rooms, and hastily disappeared...but I had scarcely dropped my bags when the knock came. “Hmmm, who told you that this was your room?” “It was on the map.” “What map?” Certainly not the map in the hands of this staff person. So, assuring her that we would happily go wherever they put us, we gathered up our belongings and moved them. (It turned out to be a much better location.) We then worked together on meal times (when the "camp" wouldn't be present) and when we could take possession of our meeting room—no small feat for the staff on a Sunday afternoon where several events were beginning and ending all at the same time.

Our initial volley began three days of logistical badminton between the retreat center staff and our little group. Doing a small retreat on spiritual creativity in the midst of a living amoeba of 86 adolescent girls was an adventure in its own kind of creativity–like the night the staff made a separate dinner line in the absolutely-off-limits back kitchen for the seven of us lest we be swallowed up by the spontaneously alive members of that adolescent amoeba who were running a bit late that night.

There were many lovely moments on our spiritual creativity retreat. But for me, one of the most quietly delightful was the creative game we played with the staff. We all approached the logistics challenge of the week with a playfulness that reminded me of batting a shuttlecock over a net. I do not believe it ever hit the ground.

Flexibility must surely be kin to receptivity—to God and to each other. We were all open, eager to find a way forward, and held loosely to our own plans. And with everyone playing this way, the game was delightful, indeed. I didn’t think to keep score…but I know we all won.

1 comment:

  1. Flexible is key to receptivity. Also, any game where everyone wins is great.