I spent this past weekend on retreat. It is a program I have been a part of for a long time called Teens Encounter Christ (TEC). One of its unique elements is that they have adults make the retreat alongside the teens.
I was 17 when I first made my TEC and I was indefatigable in my efforts to get everyone I knew to do it as well. It came to the point where I think some of them thought I joined some sort of cult. But the reality was that I had an experience that I knew would change the trajectory of my life forever (more on this in a later post).
Now it has been 17 years since I made that first TEC. And while I am older and time has tempered the fires of youth, I am no less zealous for people to experience this.
This best way I can describe what it is like is this picture:
Do you see it?
Do you see Jesus. If you don't, look more closely at the center of the composition.
Now, if you do see him, close your eyes and say to yourself "I will not see Jesus." Then open them and look at the picture.
You still saw Him, didn't you?
Because once you see Him, you can't unsee Him.
That is what happened to me on my TEC. I became frighteningly aware of the reality of God's presence and His love. And I couldn't unsee it.
This experience is not about simply having a good time or getting closer to God, though both things are important parts of the weekend. It is about having a radical encounter in your life and breathing new life into you and seeing the invisible strings that have been connecting us this whole time.
If you happen to live in the Ohio area, please check out their website: http://northcoasttec.com/
and fill out an application (teens and young adults or adults) to attend the next retreat.