This past weekend, I went on a retreat with my university’s Chi Alpha group. We spent the weekend learning, praying, worshipping, and fellowshipping with one another. I personally had an amazing time and loved every single part of this weekend trip.
Cars & Traveling
We traveled about three hours away from our university and I was not 100% sure how the car ride was going to go. I get a lot of car anxiety (been in three accidents) and so cars are not my forte. I gotta tell ya, its really fun going in a car with three other friends and traveling together! We stopped for food and everything. Even though it was longer than I am used to, I had no worries about being in the car.
During the retreat, they focused heavily on the idea of idols. Which to me is kinda funny because my first time reading through the New Testament, God was speaking idols/idolatry to me. I honestly thought that was the only thing that the New Testament was about; boy I was wrong!! To me, idols are more about celebrities or anyone who is popular and following everything they do. I was very confused when I was reading about idolatry. My definition was somewhat correct, but somewhat not…
This weekend, we dove into what idols really are. One question that was asked was, “What would you see in the mirror when you looked back at yourself?” Harry Potter was being referenced in this instance. The question comes from Dumbledore when looking into the magical mirror that shows deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts.
When I ponder and ask God about this question, I get ‘love’. I am still working on unpacking what this word means and asking God about this. I believe I desire to love people in the correct ways. I have received love and want to be able to express love to other people in a way they can receive it. So what would you see?
Continuing on with idols, there are four sources in which they stem from. This was very fascinating to me due to knowing very little before this retreat! The idols get broken down into Power, Control, Comfort, and Acceptance. They are pretty self-explanatory, but were very mind opening for me. The ‘love’ word that comes to mind would fall into the control category for me. I want to be able to control the way in which I can love people and hope they receive it the way in which I want them to.
Silence & Solitude
We wrapped up the weekend with some alone time with God. We practiced an exercise that allows us to go into the presence of God and to help us learn how to listen to Gods voice. I really enjoyed this exercise and have put it below. It has been adapted from Bridgetown Church
- Relax: Let your mind and body calm down. Try slowly reading through a psalm, attending to your breath, or repeating a simple prayer.
- Surrender and Detach: Sometimes called yielding or surrender, practice releasing your anxieties, the circumstances of your life, and your will over to God in prayer.
- Look: The heart of prayer is looking at God, looking at you in love. Spend time considering, looking at, contemplating God. Look beyond the other thoughts that crop up, redirecting your mind as needed back to the Father.
- Listen: It’s been said that the primary posture of a disciple of Jesus is sitting at his feet and listening. God has direct access to your mind–in the stillness, listen to what the Lord might be saying to you.
- Love: End your time by resting in God’s love, anchoring yourself in the peace of his presence.
Here are some pictures from this past weekend!
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