“You had to move all the way to Jakarta to see Ravi Zacharias,” my head of school joked with me before a meeting. It’s true: I would have never been able to see Ravi back home. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t have the proverbial ear-to-the ground about big speakers like him, but I don’t ever recall Ravi coming to Detroit. Regardless, when I got an email about the “retreat” occurring in Karawaci, the city where Teresa lives, I jumped at the opportunity to go.
I have stopped expecting religious revelations from pastors and pulpits. While I love being part of strong Christian communities, I don’t approach church services and chapels with the expectation that I will gain some sort of epic realization that my life is going all wrong, or that I need to reform, or that some secret-very-deep-down-sin of my soul will be revealed to me and my life will suddenly change. I don’t have come-to-Jesus moments, as they say, because I am already with Jesus.
So, I decided to attend the retreat with some goals apart from life reformation and spiritual awakening.
First, there is the fact that if Ravi can be an interesting speaker on the radio, than he certainly would be engaging in real life. The goal there is to listen and learn, instead of plan and teach (as my life has quickly become). Second, even without my expectation of epiphany, there is always an opportunity to learn from someone with so many experiences and such strong faith. People like that are inspiring to me, not only because they have seen so much, but because of the way that they carry and articulate their raw moments between themselves and God. Finally, there is the fact that really, when would I again have the opportunity to listen to someone who is (for me, literally) a household name in Christianity?
There are a lot of ideas presented over the course of the retreat that I believe will really stick with me, and I wil leave two of those ideas here. Highlighting them all would be a really long blog post: it was a three day long retreat, after all.
“You must move past knowledge to wisdom.”
“If you have been empowered, teach others who need to be empowered.”