This post about our recent retreat is written by Ally Webb, Class of 2020.
College is a struggle. Fighting to keep up with academics, social life, and well-being quickly becomes exhausting. This struggle of maintaining all of these aspects can grow to be too much. So we retreat.
Belmont Wesley Fellowship took the time to get away from campus for a day to forget about the college struggle. We spent time in the outdoors at Cedar Crest Camp- a United Methodist affiliated camp and retreat center- in Lyles, Tennessee. Ten Belmont University students and one Lipscomb University student attended. As an escape from stress, our time was dispersed between playing board games, practicing volleyball, singing around the campfire, and getting deep into the word of God.
Our curriculum for this retreat came from Three Simple Rules: A Wesleyan Way of Living by Ruben P. Job. The introduction discusses our world today and how John Wesley thought we could make the world better and get closer to God with three simple rules. The rules are “do no harm,” “do good,” and “stay in love with God.” These sound easy, right? If they are so easy, why is our world still divided? What do we need to do to carry out these practices?
These questions just touch on some of the parts we discussed. We shared life, we shared love, and we shared a God of grace with one another in these discussions, but we also shared these things in our activities. We played this game called “kick the ball in the bucket.” It is exactly as it sounds; we took a giant garbage can and a soccer ball and tried to earn points by assisting one another to get the ball in the bucket. As silly as this game probably sounds, it pushed us towards bonding and teamwork and helped us grow closer to one another and God.
It is in the silliness of life that I believe God becomes clear. For this reason, we as adults and college students should take the time to retreat. We get so wrapped up in all of the stress and deadlines of life that we forget to be silly and live life to the fullest. We put other things before God because, at the time, they are “more important.” Are they really more important?
I thoroughly enjoyed getting away to share fellowship with some really amazing people. Belmont Wesley Fellowship has kept me grounded during my transition and first part of college. I encourage you to take the time to retreat from classes and homework and, if you are in Nashville, to join us for our Connection service on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. We don’t know what you battle with, but we hope that you will come and join us in growing closer to God.