Welcome back home! If you’re reading this, chances are you just got back from . . . somewhere. Maybe this past week you were at a summer camp (or a winter camp—those are a thing, right?). Or maybe you just got back from a weekend retreat, a mission trip, or even a leadership conference. In any case, chances are you just experienced SOMETHING meaningful. Something that has the potential to change how you live your life.
So the big question is . . . What happens now? What should you DO?
Of course, you can’t start to apply the things you learned on your retreat if you can’t remember what they were. So let’s think back a bit. To start, write down the top three things that you took away from your experience. (Don’t skip this step! You’ll need it tomorrow.) Think of the things you heard from speakers, workshops, classes, small group discussions, or something you discovered on your own with God. It can even be a cool conversation you had with a new friend that helped you to see something in a whole new way. Whatever it is, make sure that it’s specific to YOU. Don’t just write down the theme of the weekend or the specific verse that they used (though those aren’t bad things!). Really think about what YOU learned. What spoke specifically to YOU?
Over the next few days, you’ll think over all that you’ve learned and how those things can make a difference in your life. You’ll make a plan, think through some ways you can keep going even when things get difficult, and even find a few people who can help you stay on track. This is a chance to start fresh, and to help create good habits in your life. Just like it says in Luke 5:36-38, don’t just try to put a patch over your old life, but know that God has made you new. Your camp or retreat experience doesn’t have to just be a fun thing that happened in the past. It has the potential to be a big part of your new future.