I almost forgot to mention this. Yesterday, November 16th was the 5th year anniversary of my “4th day”. A bit contrasting and ironic don’t you think? If you agree to this, you’ve probably never heard of, or never undergone the Days With the Lord retreat, which was one of the best experiences of my life.
5 years ago, or 5 years and a day ago to be exact, me and my HS classmates attended our DWTL retreat together. For 3 days, we experienced, we listened, we talked, we shared, and we learned. It was better than most retreats that people attend, or maybe that’s just how I saw it. It was different than the retreats I had attended before that one, and it was one of the most memorable. Though most of what I heard during the retreat is now a blur, and probably most of the people I attended that event with have already forgotten what day yesterday was, those things simply don’t matter. Dates and words are not what count when you’re learning something. You don’t have to remember the exact phrases and exact quotations that a person mentioned, nor do you have to remember the exact date that you underwent something. For dates, as long as something is done, it shouldn’t count anymore. What should matter is what you learned from undergoing the event. Same thing goes for words and phrases. A person shouldn’t have to memorize what had happened and who said what, because what matters is a person’s insight and what that person learned from what they heard.
For me, the most distinct things I learned during those 3 days were sharing and listening. One thing we have to keep in mind is that there are times that call for talking, and sharing, and during that time we must learn to share what we have with others in order for us to all learn from the experience. Of course, experiencing something is different from simply hearing it. Yet hearing a shared experience also helps us to understand that even when we think we are alone in the world, we aren’t. One may think that their problem is the most burdensome and difficult of them all, but it isn’t. Each person has his or her own share of problems, and sharing is one way of understanding that. As well, there are times that call for talking, but also times that call for listening. This does not only pertain to listening to others, but listening to God. Many people think that God is present only in the presence of a cross, which is not true. God, is everywhere and anywhere. Whenever you feel the need to talk to Him, just call out to him and He will be there listening. Sometimes, He whispers to us, guides us and helps us and advices us, but we are too busy and too lost in our own little world to realize His presence.
5 years ago, I promised to live out my fourth as much as I could. Honestly, there are times that I’ve felt myself sinking so low that God would have to be crazy to even look at me and pull me out of my slump. I haven’t been the best and the nicest of girls since the retreat. But you know, every day after the retreat is a struggle. Most people think that retreats are suppose to be life-changing, but they aren’t. Sometimes, it’s after the retreat that a person finds themselves struggling even more. It’s a struggle, everyday is a struggle to keep oneself on the path and to fulfill the promise made. It’s not easy, but it’s not something one struggles alone on. Everyone goes through this. What we must remember though is that despite everything, God is always there.
There are two ways to read that. He is now here, and He is nowhere. It is our choice, our decision, whether or not we want to look at this in a positive way, or in a negative way.
In the end, we must always remember, we are never alone. There is always someone out there who’ll listen to us, and it just takes an open heart and open mind to listen and learn.