Faith & Spirituality

Silent retreat, 2018

“God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him.”

I asked God for His leading on my venue for my silent retreat. I wanted a place in nature, full of trees. The leading was this certain Augustinian retreat house in Tagaytay. I googled it, didn’t like it (not enough trees), so I chose another retreat place instead. We have free will to choose, I reasoned. But friends pointed out— you asked God and God already gave you His choice. Are you still going to go with something else? So I begrudgingly booked the Augustinian retreat house even though it was not MY choice. But I choose to go with whatever God chooses for me.

I didn’t find out why the retreat house (which wasn’t my type— it was along a main road, it was noisy, it didn’t have enough trees, the place wasn’t conducive for writing) was God’s choice until the end of my retreat. The spiritual director there encouraged us to check out a place of prayer on our last day— Missionaries of Charity. So my friend and I went. And THERE I saw the trees, the silence, the beauty of nature I was looking for. They had two chapels, one of which was small and cozy and there in the silence, surrounded by pine trees, I was able to concentrate and go deep in prayer. And after, we just stood outside enjoying the grounds in Missionaries of Charity. It had just rained and the flowers and leaves were glistening with moisture in the cool Tagaytay breeze. I couldn’t stop smiling like a dork. It was exactly the kind of place I wanted. And I realized then why the original Augustinian retreat house I booked was God’s choice: because it would lead me to His best for me. It was a stepping stone and a test of obedience to get to where I should be.

We can always, always choose to go our own way (free will) and God will honor our choice, but choosing God’s way, even though we don’t understand, is always best and His plans and His ways are far better than ours.

I read a devotional before I left for my retreat. The title was, “Choices Determine Destinies.” Keep choosing God’s choice for you and He will lead you to where you need to be.

Lord, thank You.