A Lesson from UR

This past week was busy in a good way. As much as I wanted to come home and relax at home after finishing finals, I really feel like the past week has been put to good use. I went to KCM University Retreat and led a small group. I could share more about all the things I felt and observed and learned, but that will take too long. I’m kind of tired at the moment. But I do want to write about one thing I learned.

In our small group, one topic that we kept returning to was emotion. One of the guys shared about how sometimes he would look around during the service and see so many people full of emotion during praise and prayer times. He would find himself lacking the same emotion and thinking “Am I doing something wrong here?” But he was still growing in his faith and pursuing after God in Word and prayer. I felt his remarks resonate with me. I found it hard to be emotional outwardly with some of the songs. Pretty much all of the songs we sang had loud and powerful melodies and sections, even those that started quiet, and because they had so much of the “retreat-hype” quality to them, I restrained myself with my emotions because I didn’t know if it would be from the music or if it was true worship.

Another guy talked about how he had been to many retreats before and mentioned how he knew of people who go to countless retreats, sing and pray passionately, rededicate themselves to God, and then fall away again. Because of this, he felt wary about going too all out in worship services.

I briefly shared how all the various references to marriage during the course of the retreat affected me, and one of the guys made an analogy that I probably knew at one point before, but never had it really clicked for me and been so appropriate to remember. He talked about how the husband-wife relationship was supposed to be like the relationship between Christ and the church. At first, marriages are full of emotion and passion between the husband and the wife. But over time, the emotional and physical romance gradually fades away. But does that mean that the husband and wife do not love one another anymore? No. In fact, a marriage not fueled by emotion is probably stronger, for the husband and wife no longer need emotions to “prove” that they love one another. Before we heard this, I mentioned that I didn’t want to think of not having emotion as some sort of next level for Christian maturity, as if I was “above” emotions. It’s not that I don’t have emotion…sometimes I feel that there is more depth in times of sober-mindedness and somberness than ecstasy. But I think for me, I no longer look to outward emotional displays to gauge the level of my gratitude and love for God. Like my small group boys, I watch myself lest I become proud and start to judge fellow believers if they do express themselves in visible outward displays of emotion.

Just one of many things I learned. I hope to keep them in my heart and take care lest I forget the Lord.

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