Hi everyone, this is Megumix.
Recently a big typhoon went through Japan and left a lot of scars. There are a lot of people still in evacuation centers, and it’s starting to get really cold all of a sudden. Please remember those who are dealing with physical and emotional pain right now, and let’s join in with others around the world who are praying.
In today’s blog, we’re going to discuss the JCFN sponsored retreat, C-WIT. In Japan, we recently held C-BBWIT that has the same content, but today we’ll share about the one that was held in Northern California.
C-WIT was planned by Sachi Nakamura (JCFN board member and spiritual counselor), Yuko Ozeki (JCFN staff), Yumi Shimada, and Makiko Nakao. Of these, I interviewed Makiko Nakao.
It was the first time for us to talk to each other and I was pretty nervous, so please imagine that as you read haha
Megumix: So let’s get right to it. What is C-WIT?
Makiko: It’s an abbreviation for Contemplative WIT (Whatever It Takes), and it’s a silent retreat for Christians. Sachi Nakamura came from Chicago to be our speaker. C-WIT was held twice in Chicago and once in LA in the past, so this time here in Northern California was the fourth time.
Megumix: A silent retreat… What exactly do you do?
Makiko: The program is about one full day, from morning until night. Lunch is held in silence.
Megumix: Really? What is that about?
Makiko: Basically, you just don’t talk. The minestrone soup we ate there was really good!
Megumix: But…you can’t comment about how good the food is with the people around you?
Makiko: That’s right. We stayed focused on our own thoughts and impressions and were able to enjoy the ingredients and colors that we might normally have overlooked. Through that, we were able to practice hearing God’s still, small voice.
Megumix: I see. So it was a different experience than eating while fellowshipping with the people around you. What else did you do?
Makiko: In the afternoon, people took walks and painted stones, writing what they thought so far. There were also Scripture coloring pages.
Megumix: It seems like this program was planned so that people can interact with God while creating something or enjoying the scenery around them. How did you feel as a participant?
Makiko: For one thing, I think that people expect results when they do something, and they also expect the value that comes with those results. There are times that this value comes from other people, and times when it comes from oneself. However, I learned to let go of those results, rely on God, and joyfully walk with Jesus.
One more thing was that I was simply happy to experience that time! I know that between work and serving God, many of us are very busy. I think that sometimes we are joyful when we serve, but other times we push ourselves without realizing. We especially want people who feel that way to experience a time of silence.
Makiko, thank you for the interview.
Thinking back on the interview, the thing that stuck with me the most was when Makiko talked about Sachi teaching that if you want to be blessed or receive something at the retreat, you first need to let go. It’s true that when we do things, we are thinking, “If I do this much, then I’ll receive this much result,” or “Since I wasn’t able to do anything, there’s nothing worth taking.” Therefore, when we love someone else or receive love from God, we unfortunately start to think about cost performance.
It’s important for all of us who think that way to spend time in silence and solitude and turn our hearts to God in order to be released from those ways of thinking and to receive God’s priceless love for us as we live for Him.