friday was the perfect start to fall retreat. i drove cassie and russ, two people from cru that i didn’t know super well beforehand. no need to be worried though; it was easily the best drive to fall retreat i’ve ever had. we spent the first hour and a half just talking and getting to know each other, laughing at stories and jamming to some awesome music. cassie tried to introduce russ and i to the xx, i introduced them to imagine dragons, and russ did not introduce us to country music. he was a great sport.
while we hit some majorly frustrating traffic, it was a pretty typical trip. that is, until we stopped in columbus to get some food. russ had some trouble with his milkshake.
we were following vicky jr (my gps… i feel like i might have mentioned her fickle ways before) and got back onto the interstate, following her directions towards springhill, the camp where fall retreat was being held. suddenly, vicky jr. goes haywire, and cassie points out that she doesn’t think we’re going in the right direction. sure enough, vicky jr. had taken us in the opposite direction again. thankfully, we’d only been driving for about five minutes, so we just turned around and headed back in the right direction. it’d take us about five minutes to get back where we started, right?
wrong. oh, so wrong.
it took us about thirty minutes until we reached the red bridge we’d exited from to get some food. and it wasn’t because of traffic; the roads were clear. in fact, there was no logical reason it should have taken that long. but we started passing things that looked familiar… a sign saying that columbus was thirty miles away… the same stretch of road that cassie had mentioned a while earlier looked like a road close to her home… even some of the cars we were on the road with looked familiar.
conclusion: we had somehow entered a rip in the time-space continuum, and had survived. we might have been freaking out a little. no big deal.
thankfully, the rest of the trip was without incident and we arrived safe and sound (with our contributions to the snack room).
we were worried that we’d be completely late, but it turned out that almost everyone had been caught in traffic (no one else reported being caught in a black hole though… odd) so they pushed everything back an hour, and we walked in just as the first session started!
you know things are going to be great when the first thing you see is everyone doing the wobble.
drew stevenson gave his second talk (the first was at cru on thursday) on james 2 and 3, which are about not showing partiality, and how essential it is for faith to be accompanied by works. our works don’t earn our faith, but our faith, if genuine, should produce good works instead of just impressive theological thinking and the ability to speak well about what you believe (and likewise with our love).
“if a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘go in peace, be warm and be filled,’ and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.” –james 2:15-17
after the message we had some great worship through song, and then split into groups of majors. i had a wonderful group of social work majors to discuss the message with, and it was really cool to connect with people that i’ve never met, and really identify with some of the stuff they talked about.
later we had some time split up into our classes. i led the juniors in some camp games (ships to shore, rapid fire, and the rock-paper-scissors tournament, which jackie won) and we got to know each other a little bit. there was nothing planned for the rest of the night, so we all wandered around. the band was jamming on stage, people were excitedly meeting each other and running off to set up their bunks, and a bunch of us went to check out the bonfire.
i got to meet some really awesome international students that had come to fall retreat, and together with a few others we introduced them to their first s’mores. i had to intercede to show them the proper way: setting that marshmallow on fire and letting it burn itself out. i had some great conversation with wade about music we liked, and me and you, another student, hit it off really well. it’s cool to see that bridges, the branch of cru that focuses on ministry with international students, is having such a huge impact. i loved watching brad, nick, ben, and mookie interact with them.
i had a pleasant surprise when i hauled my stuff to my cabin: i was to stay in a mini yurt! it had a porch attached and it could only jam in ten people (and they called it a wigwam… weird), but it was a fun place to stay.
the night was capped off with a brilliant game of quelf. we had some brilliant performances, including a luau dance, a tight-lipped version of “oops, i did it again”, and a rather clever limerick. it was a blast. afterwards, people were having a dance party, so naturally we joined them.
needless to say, i slept like a rock that night.