What I Write About

I write about the infinite number of intersections between every day life and the good news of the God who has come to get us.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Chapter Retreat Re-cap

It's probably a sign of old age and maturity that on Friday afternoon as the sinuses in my head grew ever-more clogged I realized the wisdom of my wife's appeal to me that driving a couple hours to chapter retreat and then getting no sleep that night would not be a good idea.

So I went down to campus, helped everyone get on their merry way and went home and went to bed early. The next morning I drove a gloriously fall-painted two and a half hours up to Yale, Virginia, and got there before the morning session began.

The seniors who shared over the course of the weekend did a great job blending vulnerability and honesty with the hope of change and the good news of tastes of redemption in the hard places.

The theme of "How to lose your life in 3 days" was expressed thoughtfully and thoroughly by each of the six seniors who shared over the course of the weekend what it looked like for them to follow Jesus into redemption in the midst of their own struggles with control, family, identity, depression, and GPA-drivenness.

I think that the reason why almost everyone likes movies or stories with redemptive themes is because that longing for redemption of those hard times or broken places is hard-wired in our souls. We were made for perfection. We don't have it. And so we long for things to be made right, don't we?

And I appreciate even more so when I hear concrete, real-life stories where that redemption, that making-things-right, is happening in real-time. Often less "neat" than a movie, but all the more real because of it. It anchors me in hope.

Saturday night is men's and women's prayer. We break up along gender lines, sit in a circle, put one chair in the middle, and invite people to get prayer for whatever they need prayer for. Each year incredible stuff comes up during this time: issues with alcohol and drugs, family, guilt from things in the past, sexual sin, loneliness and brokenness and the like. For many, it's the first confession of something they've been dealing with and thus is the first step in the process of healing. We almost always have to cut that time off with more people wanting to talk.

Sunday morning all 142 students packed it up and left. And I left grateful for the good work God's doing in our chapter to press us into deeper places of life and redemption as we lose our lives for him and his sake that we might find them again.


gracethrufaith said...

Amen. Thank you for letting me give my talk and for letting me throw my junk out there! I feel so blessed by the many comments and responses of affirmation that I have received. The Lord has really blessed me through that talk. I know it seemed somewhat disorganized but I think it came across in the right way. That was God.

B-U-R-L-Y said...

On an unrelated note, I flew from RDU to Chicago last night and sat next to Danny Chen who just graduated from IVCF/UNC-W (self-described "only Chines guy in IVCF/UNC-W") in May. He loves you, in God's way.

Alex said...

gracethrufaith, you did a great job! thanks for sharing honestly and with lots of hope in the midst of hard stuff.

burly, danny is a great guy, glad that i can get a little love...