So, the number one question after last week's annual youth retreat to the Poconos was.... "Did you survive?!?"
At first my answer was...of course! Here I am. It was amazing and fun and life giving and filled with all sorts of great adventures and moments. But as I've had the week to regroup and settle back in to life in Robesonia, my answer has changed.
Part of what changed my answer as a guided devotion at a meeting I attended on Tuesday evening. The two questions that opened our time together were as follows.
1) What is life giving for you right now?
2) What is life draining for you right now?
As I reflected upon those two questions the big life giver for me in that moment was the Pocono Retreat. It was a weekend filled with laughter until our sides ached, food until our bellies expanded and relationships deepening with God and with one another. Talk about a mountaintop experience.
As we freaked out as a mouse ran through the dining hall during our Saturday evening communion service, we also reflected on how we had been FED that day.
After a harsh, snow filled winter, we were fed by God through the gift of a beautiful sunny day where we explored boulder field, and back at camp we played Frisbee, wiffle ball and giant jenga. We were fed around the table as we ate and talked about our favorite super heroes, how we eat cupcake and whether we'd rather be able to use the force or have light saber fingernails.
We were fed as we learned yoga poses we could incorporate into our prayer lives.
We were fed when we talked about issues and concerns at school and what we could take back to the hallways from this retreat.
We were fed as we played games that encouraged teamwork and helps us get to know each other just a little bit better.
We were fed as the boys met and talked about life and so did the girls and we realized that no matter what we are going through there are others around us going through the same thing...and that there is a core group of youth and adults at church that are here for us no matter what.
We were fed by the amazing beauty of a starry night, only lit by a campfire.
We were fed as a giant luna moth swooped in on our gathering.
We were fed each time someone said the word 'uranus' and we all giggled.
I guess you could say that we survived another retreat.
But I'd rather say that we thrived another retreat.
We thrived in God's beautiful creation, surrounded by the sounds of laughter and conversation.
We thrived being fed by the body of Christ as we gathered together as a worshipping community.
We thrived getting away from the daily grind of school or work to take a weekend to reconnect with God and one another.
We were fed.