Thursday, November 16, 2006

Awaken Our Hearts, O Lord

The 78th Aggie Awakening is this weekend, and it has remained on my mind for the past week, and even the weeks previous to it. It's been three years since I've made the retreat as a freshman, and it has been an even greater blessing each successive semester. As my sixth time staffing the retreat, most things will be the same, minus a few kindred souls who have graduated in the past semester, but in all the heart of the retreat will remain ever the same for me. It is a consoling time in each semester, to turn away from the helter-skelter of our lives and to focus so firmly on Christ.

Some might say there is a bit of an "Awakening high" that the participants have after the week is over. Each reaction to the weekend is different to some degree, but all are affected. It is this bonding in Christ, this awakening of our hearts to Christ and in Christ, that I cherish so much. Yet, this blessing amid so many blessings does not come without cost. Alas, there has been much work put in already to prepare for the weekend, much prayer, much love. However, it should be noted that through it all it is a labor, a gift of love that is given and received by all.

It is then my prayer, that through this retreat, my faith life might grow further and the faith lives of the retreaters grow exponentially. I pray that they see the love of Christ at work and, with His love, move mountains.

For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober. Those who sleep go to sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night. But since we are of the day, let us be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love and the helmet that is hope for salvation. For God did not destine us for wrath, but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live together with him.

Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do. We ask you, brothers, to respect those who are laboring among you and who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you, and to show esteem for them with special love on account of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. We urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, cheer the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient with all. See that no one returns evil for evil; rather, always seek what is good (both) for each other and for all. Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing.

In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:5-18

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