Editor's Note: The following is a student's reflection on the Salt & Light Fall Summit, held October 19-21, 2012.
Every stage of life has its challenges and blessings; however, the college years are certainly a highly unique time for young adults. Leaving the comfort of home and entering a drastically different environment can either provide ample opportunities for growth, or this time of change can cripple a person. In the midst of an unpredictable time, the opportunity to learn from older believers, spend time alone with God in the middle of gorgeous fall colors, and fellowship with other believers, was an incredible blessing this past weekend.
Do you consider yourself a risk-taker? This was a question posed by Tom Humphrey as he began the retreat. Are you content to go to college to get that degree, proceed on to grad school in order to earn that six figure income, get married and have kids, retire on a fortune, and move to Florida to collect sea shells until you die? Frankly, all this is truly meaningless when we stand before the throne on that last day. Tom and Angela challenged us to fight living a “safe” life. He pushed us to yearn for more, for what is truly meaningful and eternal instead of being content to meander down the easy road. He made the claim that our goals of fulfilling the American dream are worthless when compared to the span of eternity. In God’s Word, He says, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-17.
Tom and Angela also discussed the idea of “abandoning self.” That is, becoming absolutely dependent on and trusting in God to where one can humbly say, “Use this ransomed life in any way You choose.” What are we holding onto in this life that is stealing our focus from surrendering our lives to our Creator? It is remarkable the freedom and peace given to those who humbly desire to be used by God. “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” Mark 8:36.
Being surrounded by people who have one thing in common -- an intense love for Jesus and hearing the testimony of what God can do through people like the Humphreys who say, ”use this ransomed life in any way You choose,” was invaluable. God revealed to me some issues I needed to resolve and taught me even more about Himself. The older I become, the more the gospel takes my breath away. I am so grateful that God is good and just, yet in His great mercy He saved us (Titus 3:5-6).
The Salt and Light Summit was not a temporary spiritual high. It was a time of fellowship, in which a group of followers of Christ were brought together to worship the Creator who gave His son as a ransom for imperfect and messed up people like us. The Christian walk is a race of perseverance. It is a pursuit of Christ only made possible by the grace of God as he renews us daily (2 Corinthians 4:16). I am so thankful for the time I had at the Summit, and most of all, I am thankful to God for making all this possible through Jesus.