Our annual High School Retreat was last weekend and it was powerful or ‘lit’ as the kiddos say. One of the sad realities of “mountain top” experiences such, as a retreat is the fact that we cannot stay there. We have to go back home. This is probably what Peter, James and John felt like after experiencing the Transfiguration of Jesus.
However, leaving from a “mountain top experience” doesn’t mean we can’t take it home with us and re-live it to some extent. Here’s a few tips to help you process and squeeze out every ounce of goodness from these experiences:
- Don’t think of it as being over: We are back home and away from the retreat center, but this does not mean that we cannot continue to ponder and experience everything we entered into during retreat. Did you enjoy the moments of silent meditation? Set aside time to go and do that during the week. Did you love Adoration? Well, we have tons of hours you can sign up to do that right here!
- Surround yourself with retreat peeps! Let’s face it, the theme and content of a retreat is important but people make the experience of retreats amazing. That intentional Christian community is awesome and should be entered into after retreat. Get on SnapChat, Instagram or a good old fashion telephone and get in touch with the people from retreat. Go to daily mass on a Saturday morning. Then, go to the park to throw a football around and end it with a meal or some Carl’s ice cream. Spending quality time with these folks will keep that retreat spirit going AND help it to morph into new experiences with these amazing people.
- Make a commitment to keep working on what God revealed to you during retreat: This is really important. The retreat in and of itself is an experience in time, but the blessings of it can ripple through time. By making a commitment to revisit what God shared with you during the retreat you are allowing the blessings of that retreat to help you grow and really process all that happened during that weekend.
- Journal about the experience: This is tied to #3 above. Journaling is a great way of processing a retreat. One of the benefits of this is being able to go back and revisit what you wrote and ponder those thoughts once again. If you are anything like me I forget stuff all the time; so journaling not only helps me process but also recall emotions, frustrations and memories. The other benefit of journaling is that it can take you beyond the retreat. Meaning, that as you process what occurred at retreat you can also discover new things that God is telling you and help you to grow beyond the retreat experience.
- Read the Bible: If you want your relationship with God to grow you need to know Him and you cannot know Him without immersing yourself in the word of God. Start with the Gospels and then keep reading the New Testament. You won’t regret it!
- #GetInvolvedBeTransformed: This hashtag is the motto, mantra—whatever you want to call it—of our youth program. Do you want to grow in holiness? Be a better person? Connect with amazing people that will encourage you to live your faith? Then get involved. That’s how you will be transformed and transform others. Don’t be a consumer of faith that expects to receive, and give nothing in return. When you get involved your gifts and talents enter into the body of Christ and the body of Christ is blessed.