Last weekend I had the pleasure of going on the Search retreat with several of my classmates. I will be honest by saying that the week prior to the retreat I was having second thoughts about going. My thoughts were, “What am I going to do if I get bored?” and “Do I really want to spend a weekend without my phone/technology when I could be in my dorm room getting work done?” Even with these thoughts going through my head, I finally decided that since I knew most people who would be there, I had to go so I could bond with them. Also, I had already paid so there was no turning back now. After the retreat I realized that during the course of the entire weekend I was not bored for a single second and at some points I even forgot about my phone completely. The only word I can really think of to generalize the experience is WOW just WOW. I say this because it was so unexpectedly peaceful and blissful that I cannot even find the right words to describe how perfect it was.
People have asked me this past week, “It’s called Search, so what did you search for?” My response to each person made them a little confused. I told them all that before going on Search, I was not sure what I was searching for, but when I left Search, I found my missing puzzle piece. While reading this you might be confused about what that exactly means, but the answer is deeper that what lies on the surface. Before I experienced the weekend away on retreat, I knew deep down that I was looking for something, however I could not quite put my finger on it. Now that I’ve had the time away from campus to reflect, pray, and share stories with my peers, I realize it was just that - the time away, free of distraction, that I was looking for. While I may not have found specific “answers” to any big questions, or solved any major problems, I allowed myself some peace and quiet, and unique bonding time with old friends and new ones. It was the missing puzzle piece that I didn’t know was missing. The answer to the question, “What were you searching for?” is also different for everyone who went on the retreat, so you really will not know the answer unless you go on Search yourself.
In this weekend’s second reading, the author begins, “Brothers and sisters: May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope through his grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word.” As I read these words, I was reminded of our experience on the Search retreat. All throughout the weekend, we were reminded of the everlasting encouragement and hope that comes from faith in God. Hopefully this encourages someone to want to go on the retreat because you will not regret it!