The L.A.B. Senior Retreat of 2011 is in the books… or is it? Only God knows the answer to that question. After all, the 3-day retreat to Forest Home, October 27-29th, is barely concluded. The camp clothes are still dirty, some of the sleeping bags are still airing out in the backyard, and at least one Senior came directly home, crashed somewhere near their bed, and are still catching up on sleep they lost at camp. The details of the retreat will be covered in a more formal manner soon enough. In the meantime, however, the meandering thoughts of this feeble mind can’t be contained, so I’m sending them off in this reflection…
This wasn’t an ordinary group of Seniors going up to Forest Home for a retreat, so it wasn’t exactly earthshaking news to me, when God did an EXTRA-ORDINARY work in their lives. Nevertheless, these are a few of the observations I do find amazing:
Aren’t senior retreats supposed to be a place where students sneak about, dink around, and duck out on meetings? Though I’m certain there will be a few stories that eventually come to light, it seemed like these students wanted to stick together with their fellow seniors and staff leaders.
Some retreats are distracted by snide and snickering comments that infiltrate meetings and messages, attempting to sabotage any form of spiritual growth. This senior class, however, seemed to gain an authenticity about themselves, each other, and their Lord as the camp progressed.
I’ve seen students make spiritual decisions at the conclusion of extremely emotionlly-driven messages culminating with 23 stanzas of a Chris Tomlin worship song. It was so refreshing to see students standing up to receive Christ at end of the session without music or without guilt driven messages. The students that stood to confess Christ, seem to do so because…they wanted… To know Him and the power of His resurrection in their lives!
Retreats often have outside bands that are brought in to lead the worship music, but it was so nice to have the spiritually sensitive and most excellent musicians of the senior class leading worship…with a cellist that was chill! It was awesome to witness our senior students worshipping their Creator!
Well, time will tell the real story of this retreat. The campfire is gone, and eventually, even those ‘green plastic bands’ which some students have vowed to keep on as a reminder of their time away… will break, tear, or be cut off by a deranged religion teacher. Eventually the truth of what happened at the Senior retreat of 2010-11 will be played out. They have left the mountaintops and have entered back into the valley where they live. Soon, they will be rubbing shoulders with the friends and acquaintances that will offer up cynical remarks about the retreat; the same people that will lay stumbling blocks in their paths, and encourage them to stumble. The first Zinger will occur, followed by others till soon they will feel their old self on the loose again.
The students that took part in this retreat will also write its epilogue….. or does there really have to be one? Does this retreat story have to have an ending? Maybe, just maybe… your class will usher in the start of something special…. The Junior class is watching you closely… and you know what? They have the potential to be an absolutely incredible class as well. Maybe you will pass the baton into their very capable hand.
I must admit that I caught a picture in my mind of a truly incredible event… It was Senior night for basketball or volleyball, or baseball. (you fill in the sport of your choice) The names of the players were being announced and as I looked up into the stands, I ended up doing a double take. I saw 140+ senior students stand to their feet with hearts and souls linked together in their love for one another… and they were clapping, cheering, and pointing to those senior players on the court. Then…I confess, I had to look away for just a second because my eyes were tearing up. When I looked back, the scene was gone! But I must confess…I can’t help but wonder what God will do… with what He has done!
This is not one of the my finer pieces of literature, but some of my thoughts on paper….. WRITE FROM RON!
Oh, did I tell you? PROUD TO BE A KNIGHT, BABY!