This past February I embarked on a journey that I didn’t know what I should expect from. It was a weekend retreat called Kairos, that I heard so many wonderful things about, and people beaming smiles at my just telling me I needed to go. Sure enough I went, and became one of those beaming smiles telling everyone I could to take the journey themselves.
Without giving away all the wonderful secrets of Kairos, what I can say is that it is a way to get away from the chaos of day-to-day life–the work, the papers, the phone, the TV, everything. You get a weekend to yourself, to think and reflect on your life, talk with others hear stories of perseverance, faith and love. Overall, if I can try and condense the meaning into a few words, which is next to impossible, I’d say that the experience is a way of learning what truly matters in life, finding and creating the person you most want to be, and realizing who and what in your life will help you reach that. I’d have to say it is the ultimate epiphany every young adult needs.
Last month, I was able to experience Kairos again, this time as an adult leader. I really wasn’t sure what to expect other than I wanted to try and give the best experience to those who would experience this for the first time. My enthusiasm for those about to embark on this journey grew louder and fuller with each passing day. But the retreat wasn’t about being selfish and trying to have some time for myself, it was about being able to give of myself to help and maybe even inspire someone else.
What was inspiring was the team I was able to be in the company of. I worked with the best people imaginable, some familiar faces and some new. but I couldn’t have been happier with how well we meshed, how much we laughed and overall how well we were able to really want the best for these retreatants.
While I knew the journey was amazing and that I was working with such an amazing group of people, I never really knew how deep these retreatants would inspire me. Most are right around my age, some are starting there college careers, some are getting ready to close that chapter. But no matter where they are in life they have been open and honest with their own hurts and obstacles, but have understood that they are necessary to go through. With that I have seen so many of them ready to face their own hurts and move forward to a brighter future. I see a thirst for life where they are ready to make their dreams a reality and to truly grow into and create the person they always dreamed they could be.
Some I had the opportunity to spend more time with as we had great conversations in our small group sessions. Each had an amazing story I was able to find a bit of myself in. As we grew together during that weekend, and as I sat with all the retreatants on a little reunion we had tonight, I was able again to hear how their journey continues beyond the retreat, how they continue to struggle, yet realize they are growing that much more, laughing that much more and loving that much more.
It was a wonderful experience to take part in this experience again, and to have a nice little refresher with this amazing group of people. They have taught me so much and have reconfirmed in me my own thirst for life, my desire to go out and see the world God gave me, to try new things, to experience something different, to meet new people, to reach for my dreams and give it a shot, to get out of my comfort zone and not let my fears dictate my life, to understand, to listen, to laugh and most importantly to love. They’ve inspired me to live the fourth, and I hope in some way I have been able to return the favor.