Through a glass darkly

"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." (1 Corinthians 13:12)KJV

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Back From Women's Retreat Part III

In my final installment of my description of the weekend, I thought I would talk about the spiritual component of the retreat. The theme was Extreme Makeover: Heart Edition and the purpose was stated as a chance for us to "refresh, relax, and renew". As I described in my earlier installments, the weekend was not very refreshing or relaxing for me personally -stressful is probably a more accurate word for my experience. Yet even in the most stressful situations, I have still managed to learn or apply something valuable to my Christian faith. This was not the case here.
One person commented to me that the speaker seemed ill-prepared and not overly acquainted with Scripture. It seemed her talks were mainly random thoughts, scattered interactions without points. During each message, she would have us break into smaller groups to discuss and "share" with our neighbor. Honestly, I could not tell you what I learned or how it would help me be a better follower of Christ. The musical worship we had was more just music and less worshipful connection with God.
I got more out of the early Sunday morning mass I attended at the Mission with a few of the ladies. There the priest in his homily challenged the congregation to live out their faith and to use the Lenten season to reflect on our sinfulness. He encouraged them to use their pennance as a means to forsake their sin and lead renewed lives. One of my friends, a former Catholic, was impressed and remarked on how right on his words were (except for those Roman Catholic moments in the Mass where we remember that we are heirs of the Reformation). I only wished that the service was a bit more "user friendly" - my lack of the familiarity with the missal caused me to fumble around with it rather than fully participating in the readings and hymn singing. (Note to readers: we DO NOT participate in the Eucharistic elements of the Roman mass, we understand the theological difficulties with it and abstain. We did not have problems with the rest of the service -it was indistinguishable from a liturgical Protestant service in that regard on that day.)
To top off my "lost weekend", Laura and I decided to drive down the 1 instead of returning home by the 101. It was great, scenic drive until we got to Malibu where a downed power pole turned a 10 mile drive into a two hour traffic jam.
Although it wasn't a "good" weekend, It definitely was memorable.