I love swimming in the ocean.  I float there, looking down through my goggles, and see all the fish.  They don't know my name, maybe they know me as "big floaty white thing", but they otherwise pay me no mind.

I like the solitude of swimming in the ocean.  I like that it brings my mind to how awesome God is.  Look at all He's created!  It keeps me from all distractions, it's fun, it's relaxing, and if I allow myself to go there, it is communing with God.  To me, my time in the ocean is some of the best worship times.  I don't mean singing (how would that sound?.."Our gurgle is an Awesome gurgle").  But just thinking about how incredibly wonderful and awe-inspiring God is.

So there I was, big-floaty-white-thing, all alone in the ocean, just us fish, thinking 'being alone is GREAT! I love this anonymity, this solitude!'.  Suddenly, from right behind me I hear 'HELLO!!!" and I turn to see afamily of Papua New Guineans rowing a canoe.  Mom, dad, and two kids, all perfect strangers to me.  All waving and smiling and laughing and big-floaty-white-man.

I waved back.

In PNG I'm always being watched, rarely alone, never anonymous.  I'm always representing my gender, my race, my country, my organization or the world where giants live (go Giants! "See that's funny Hildy because he's big and he's a Giants baseball fan, try to keep up."). 

But solitude, (taking a break from all your worries sure would help alot!) communing with God, getting to that quiet place where you can say you concentrated on hearing what God is telling you,  THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT.

For some it takes work. For most it recharges our batteries.  But we all need it.  We need the tune up time with God.  We can't very well serve others, or even be in community without first getting things straight with God, one on one.

Here comes the but!  But we shouldn't stay there either.  We need to surface, look around, and continue swimming forward toward where God pointed us.

As I was under that water enjoying that no one knew me, or possibly even saw me, and the canoe came by shouting 'hello.'  I had one very clear thought.

"Okay Chad, you've had your spiritual retreat weekend, you know what I've been telling you to do.  Now, it's time to get to work again, its time to go back among people,  loving them, serving them, ministering to them."