Let’s get one thing out of the way: I wasn’t that thrilled to attend the inaugural Avenue men’s retreat.
It had nothing to do with the fact it fell on my 30th birthday.
No, it was deeper than that.
If you’ve grown up in the church like I have, you’ve more than likely grown accustomed to the traditional “church” agenda. You’ve attended many retreats, get-a-ways, and seminars. You’ve seen and heard it all. So why would you give up a perfectly good Saturday (and for me, 30th birthday) just to hear the same things?
This been-there-done-that, heard-it-all mentality is terribly dangerous both in and outside the church. It leaves very little room for the Holy Spirit to move. If your mind is made up before approaching any situation you’ll find yourself presently bored.
Planned, predictable, expected…boring.
As I mentioned, I wasn’t too excited to go. And thinking back it was probably at the nagging of Danny that I ended attending. And I’m glad I did.
I heard tales of how Satan attacks. How he either puffs us up, or tells us we’re not good enough. And this cycle is even more deadly than the one mentioned above. But the good news is that it can be broken. Through the power of the Gospel, our mind and our life can be renewed. There is no knowledge that can get us there, nothing we can learn or do for ourselves. We must believe in the changing power of the Gospel. And let the Holy Spirit work.
If given the chance next year, I’d encourage you to go. I would also suggest you leave your agenda at home. To not assume you know exactly how things will play out. To give God and your local church leadership a chance to dig you out of the boring loop where nothing exciting happens. And finally to give yourself a chance to believe in the changing power of the Gospel once again.