Edge students just returned from our annual Unplugged retreat and it was quiet. Yes, you are reading that correctly. The unplugged retreat full of high school and middle school students was quiet. Let me explain.
Was it loud with all those students? Yes. Did we get tons of sleep? Depends on your definition of sleep. Did we have a schedule? Sorta. Did they have practices? No. Did they have homework? Maybe but we didn‘t do it. Did they have worries or anxieties? Probably but who doesn’t? Did we take time to slow down from all the extra we entertain in our lives and lean into Jesus? YES!
The theme this year was Life in the spirit and how we must be aware of the busy, of the burdens, of the schedules and practices, of the idols in our lives that have caused us to not live life by the spirit. That Christ promises rest, and purpose in running the race of faith.
While asking students how the retreat was going 2 things I noticed..
1. They feel like all of their time must be given to something, filled to the brim, but when they experience real rest in Jesus something changes in them.
2. They carry expectations placed on them by the world. More practice to the sport they play, better grades for certainty of success in life, stay plugged in to social media or the next trend because if you don’t you become irrelevant…
Rest is required to run well the race we have been called into with Jesus, and if we run ourselves ragged keeping up with the world, we, and the next generation will not run well or perhaps at all. We who disciple and lead the next generation can’t forget that Jesus came to reveal the father, restore his creation back into relation with him, and redeem us. That redeeming starts the moment we confess that Jesus is Lord and Savior But life is lived not looked forward to. We can look forward to what God has in store for those who has restored, but we can also enjoy the promise of a new life right now, different from the world around us, found only in the Son.
““Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.””
Now I am not saying the things we give time to are evil, wrong, or can’t be things we find enjoyment in. They just can’t be our gods, they shouldn’t be what defines us or that we place our hope in. We must be aware of the burdens we carry and the yoke we wear. Is it the promised rest and life shared in the Son? Or is it the worlds stresses, schedules and successes?