this past weekend, i led a retreat with the youth group and decided to become intentional about taking a simplified approach. i designed a series of mini sessions with the flexibility of adding to or deleting from any given session at any given time. the retreat was dubbed the Q Retreat. the Q stood for Quest - whereas looking at life's big questions involves a 'quest' of sorts, a journey leading deep into one's very soul.
perhaps the deepest question was this "What does your soul look like?"
Some inspiration for the retreat derived from Rainn Wilson's Soul Pancake website and book. Other ideas came from the power of music (U2 - I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For; Katie Herzig - Make a Noise; Mumford & Sons - Awake My Soul etc), images (workisnotajob.com - the artwork gallery), creativity (howies® - life is complicated), film (nameless moment from erwin mcmanus) and scripture (among others: james 4:7-10; john 21:1-14)
discussions ranged from 'How to deal with the unbalance of life' to 'Things we search for' and to 'Things that make life complicated'. At one point the students made a list of 'Life's Biggest Questions.' This, no doubt, was most meaningful and impacting.
After a lengthy discussion on the tough questions of life (why do bad things happen to good people?, how do i know God's calling on my life?, what is my purpose? etc.) i showed this video: (a video made In Association with: the Melbourne Skydive Centre)
"The next time you get consumed with life's big questions, remember... someone in Australia is skydiving."
in other words: it's all about perspective. for the person experiencing human flight the view is simple yet magnificent... the challenge overwhelming yet exhilarating. basically, God is in control. He enables mankind to do great and mighty things. and some things can make our problems look small... from His perspective, there is a plan and that path leads to full life.
Later, after a discussion on life's big dreams and a challenge for students to 'dream big' i showed this video:
"the next time you think and feel your dreams are too big to accomplish remember... someone is base jumping in Switzerland."
lastly, at the end of the retreat after a final discussion about how life can become overwhelming and tempt us to go back rather than go forward (see John 21) i showed this video:
I concluded by saying "the next time you let life overwhelm you remember... someone is surfing off the coast of California."
it's all about perspective. form God's POV he's got the everything under control. he's got a plan for one and all and his creation speaks of his power and might and order.
life is complicated - but when we utilize our senses to see, hear, taste, touch and smell all that God has for us our perspective suddenly simplifies our life. even if for a moment... it's a moment given to us by God himself.
it's all about perspective. sometimes a change of scenery is all we need...
God is good... All the time...