This past weekend I went on a Christian retreat with the campus ministry I am involved in, Cru. We went to a camp in the mountains without internet and little to no cell phone service. I am going to be honest, I was a bit hesitant on going for the simple fact that almost all of my homework is online, and well, it would be impossible to do my work there.
I felt like the Lord wanted me to go on the retreat, but I just didn't feel like it fit into my schedule with me having an exam that was 25% of my grade right after that weekend. I decided not to go for that reason and on top of it all, my friends couldn't go.
As the Lord does when He wants you to do something though, He made the way. My friend ended up registering to go, so I did too. Even at that point, I wasn't sure how it would go. I grew up in a Christian home and experienced almost all of the aspects of a Christian childhood; however, a retreat in the woods was not one of them. My church never really went on any of those growing up, so this was a completely new experience for me.
I will now say it was such a memorable experience, and I absolutely would go again. It is easy as a college student to get caught up in the daily stresses of homework and studying, so it is vital to still make sure you have time alone with the Lord. That was what that weekend was for me. I was able to be away from the world of school work and social media for a weekend, and it was more refreshing than I could have ever imagined.
Being in God's creation with His people helped me build relationships with other brothers and sisters in Christ from UT, spend quiet time alone with God that is almost impossible to do on campus, and simply not worry about anything else. Fixing my eyes on Him is what made it one of the most fun weekends I have ever had. God is a God of love and joy and peace; that is exactly what I got out of going on a Christian retreat.
If you are like I was and have never had the chance to go on a retreat, I highly encourage you to find one to go to. It changed my perspective on what a weekend like that looks like. It looks like crying because God's presence is so strong, watching UT play Georgia with your friends and playing games in a huge field.
For me, what I gained was a fresh perspective on God's peace and finding that peace in the midst of chaos and also new friendships that I hope continue to grow in the Lord. All of us deserve a chance to unplug from the world and be with our Creator, so that is why I think everyone should go on a Christian retreat at least once in their life.