Choose a place and time for your retreat. Allow at least an hour, if possible. A favorite spot for those who retreat in the cottage at Soul Care Sanctuary in Little Rock is Wildwood Park for the Arts. www.wildwoodpark.org
Step outside and be present to what God might be inviting you to.
Take a few minutes to slow your breathing and relax.
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
Begin by taking some deep breaths, letting your soul drink in the fresh air God is so richly providing. He’s as close as your next breath. You might find a bench or picnic table to sit and relax.
You might ask yourself the question: “What is keeping me from being fully present?” You might tell that thing you will attend to it later. This is your time with God.
Before beginning your nature walk, spend a few minutes meditating on Psalm 19:1-4. What word or phrase does God seem to be drawing your mind and heart to?
The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or word;
their voice is never heard.
Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
and their words to all the world.
God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.
Begin walking slowly. Let yourself embrace this experience and pace which is unique to you.
Take some time to pay attention to what you are sensing physically and how this awakens your thoughts, presence to God, and feelings within.
Let yourself go and give yourself permission to experience with all of your being wherever your gaze and feet take you.
As you survey the external landscape, what might God be impressing on you in connection to the landscape of your soul?
Where (or what) is God drawing you (to) in nature?
Look for the glory. Slow down and notice colors, intricacies, textures, sounds. Take time to experience each of your senses: seeing, listening, touching, smelling, and tasting.
Notice the wordless messages within nature. What might God be saying to you in that?
As you gaze on a particular facet of creation that you are drawn to, ask God to reveal Himself to you. What does God reveal to you about God? About His love? About creation? About you?
What feelings are stirring in you as you take time to be present in God’s creation?
At the end of your walk, take some time to reflect and gather the graces. Sketch or journal a few sentences about your experience. You might consider these questions:
What is one gift I received on my walk?
Is there something that I experienced through my senses that God might be inviting me to converse with Him about? How do I want to respond?
What did God reveal to me about God? About myself?
What is one thing I want to pay attention to on my next walk?
As I reflect on thoughts and feelings I experienced on this walk, what am I being invited to hold onto?
For a printable copy of this retreat: https://2264ac4a-b532-4ed7-b5ce-234b846dbe08.usrfiles.com/ugd/2264ac_c595eb53c4ff4ad8a1aabb6226087735.pdf