It seems the ultimate in logical thinking to withdraw in the face of a superior enemy. Instead, “retreat” is emotionally laden at best, an invitation for ridicule at worst. We admire so much the rugged loner that soldiers on, against all odds and wisdom, only to prevail in the end. I would venture to say that this is our favorite human story.
But there are other ways to retreat.
A retreat can be an opportunity for reflection, meditation, or prayer. A retreat for the purpose of increasing self knowledge doesn’t seem like turning away from victory at all. Quiet time without the distractions and the demands of the world has become the rarest of pleasures.
A retreat can also be a special place, private and secure, that makes a person relax and recharge. It can be a mental exercise or an actual place. Whichever it is, it is much in demand by some. Evens if it seems like running away, it can still have a purpose.