Yep, the title is back, recycled, reused, and abused. Don't worry, this was meant to be a trilogy ;)
Call me a sad, sad child but I've been waiting for the Grove Winter Retreat ever since I graduated. I just wanted to relive the college experience all over again. The time leading up to the retreat felt like ages, but the time at retreat felt like a blink of an eye. But thats life. Everything you enjoy goes by in a flash while everything you stress about continues to carve out the Grand Canyon. I think the anticipation and the hype we created amongst ourselves made it that much quicker, but that much better. Me, chubs, and Wayne took off early from work to get to Long Point before 10pm. We got there exactly at 10pm and already it felt like college never ended. Only thing different was the fact that everyone was greeting you and hugging you like you have seen each other in ages. Good times.
There was nothing especially different about this retreat in comparison to the past four I've been to but this one just felt unique. One, its the first I've attended where I could actually sit in the congregation section, and two, we're "young adults". Retreat in general is a time where you refresh, renew, and reinvigorate yourself for God. Check, check, and check. I've also experienced the college life again. Check. However, I've also realized something else. Aside from the challenge Pastor Lisa left with us, I've also got a sense of being alive. Not just breathing but a sense that this is what I live for. Its like not having a bowl of pho for a week and finally being able to down two large bowls, soup and all. To no surprise I longed to be amongst my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, to worship and praise together, to pray and heal each other, to share Christ's love with each other. It was this very moment that I looked forward to all year long. Its over now but for the time being, it was a nice glimpse of heaven.
On the way back from the blessed time, we got to talking about our current positions in life, our jobs, and how we still wished we were back in college. Bare truth is I still dread Mondays and I'm not excited about the work I do. It doesn't get my adrenaline kicking, it doesn't make me feel alive. On a pessimistic view, I probably won't be pumped for whatever I do next. As much as I've doubted I now know for a fact that my passion lies in praise. Nothing gets my heart pumping and stomach butterflying like being part of praise. Whether it'd be playing on the team or just throwing my arms up in the air, its officially my passion, I can't find any other excuse now. What was it that drove me to tears the first morning worship session we had? A missing link finally found, a longing fulfilled, a thirst quenched. Praising by myself and alongside fellow brothers and sisters is a totally different experience. For this reason I wish to devote myself to the current praise team that I've been given the privilege to serve on and lead.
I live for these moments and sadly I've become too dependent on fellowship to brave out into the new world. I know I'll never be in their shoes again but I realize its never a bad thing to relive certain moments of your life. They're worth reliving for a reason. Quite honestly, this week has been a long long week. Exhaustion from retreat coupled with work stress is never good. Luckily I've always got my 2 hrs of commuting to digest it all and have time to think. The more I think, the more I can't express my thanks in words. College, no, the Grove was an awesome, life-changing chapter of my life. I'll forever be thankful for the memories and the lessons learned but I can't let it hold me back. Gotta take off my old shoes for a brand new pair. Been wearing them too long now that its been slowing me down. So here's to my "official" first step into the real world. My old shoes I shall place in my case for forever long preserving, like my blue jacket.
Memoirs of a Syracuse Grovian Alum, class of 2011.
Bible Progress - Exodus 38
"i'm out of olive branches for you to burn."
1 year ago