Rhetoric Retreat Reflection
For the last four years, I have spent the last week of summer break going to the Rhetoric Retreat. In four years, Rhetoric Retreat has changed my life in many significant ways. It all began my Freshman year. I was introduced to the Rhetoric School and was terrified; however, all my fears (of what was in store for me), went away when the Seniors reassured me that I just needed to “Run Wild, Live Free, and Love Strong”. I took those words to heart and wore them on my chest as the Retreat theme; they were the backbone for every sermon I heard that week and the heart of every small group discussion I was apart of. Those words gave me courage to face the daunting challenge of my Freshman year and trust that God would lead me through it all.
During the following summer, I knew that Sophomore year was going to hold more difficulties for me, and I began to worry about the struggles that lay ahead. But. the Seniors reassured me that God was on my side and encouraged me that I should have “No Worries”. Now, that particular year was very difficult for me personally, as I went through many hardships. Needless to say, it was hard to have no worries when there was so much to worry about. But through the apostle Paul, God’s word tells me: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”(Phil 4:6-7 NIV). With this holy reassurance, I was able to overcome my struggles and live in God’s protection with no worries.
As a Junior, I was confident. I was starting on the football team and had classes that I referred to as “easy” in the coming year. I was prideful and arrogant about myself and my abilities, but it was as if the Seniors could read my mind. This Retreat’s theme was “Get Real.” It was not until the sermons came and the small group discussions occurred that I realized how shallow and self-centered I was. I felt guilty and ashamed of the mass of my hubris. But the conviction led to humility, and I felt as though it was not I who was so great, but the Lord. Because of this realization, I am forever grateful for the Seniors of 2018.
Now, this summer was my last Retreat. My senior class, which consisted of myself and 20 other teenagers, was entrusted with a sum of funds and a rough plan on how to transport, feed, and entertain an entire group of slightly younger teenagers. Although our Rhetoric School is compromised only of about 70 students, the challenge was still demanding. It took our combined efforts and talents to produce a week of worship, spiritual growth, and fellowship. As Seniors we all agreed that we needed to let go and be “Out of Control” in our lives. So for our last year, full of burdensome oppositions such as Thesis Class, we felt like this was the best theme to represent our school year and motivate ourselves to “let go” and trust in God.
The themes of Retreat have truly affected my years at Christian Heritage. Each year I can look back and remember Retreat and the themes and how they impacted my life. Retreat is a blessing that enables the student body to grow in faith and fellowship before heading into the school year. It is a beautiful tradition that I hope and pray will live on throughout the future of Christian Heritage.