This week the Fellows embarked on a backpacking trip to Pisgah, Alabama. Overall, it was a great adventure, despite being met with some unexpected changes to the schedule.
During the week, we learned to be flexible, maintaining a positive attitude when things such as sudden bad weather hit. In fact, numerous Fellows commented that it was in these moments of uncertainty when true community was exemplified. No matter what environment, we were able to enjoy each other’s company serving and laughing together as a group.
In this new environment, we had the privilege to disconnect from our usual habits. These rhythms, which can easily go unnoticed in everyday routines, were exchanged for new opportunities. Guided by professor, Hule Goddard Ph.D., we were encouraged to create ‘Sacred Rhythms’ – necessary practices and rhythms we should employ in our everyday lives such as solitude, introspection, scripture, prayer and community.
The week was devised in a particular way so that we would have time to develop each of these practices in a new setting. We were encouraged to embrace the wilderness, God’s creation by partaking in hikes, games, solitude, a variety of disciplines, and maintaining a ‘leave no trace mentality.’ One of the main hikes we went on was a trek to the top of a beautiful mountain. This experience, whilst physically challenging, was heightened by the overwhelming display of encouragement, championship, and companionship. We would make sure that anyone, if struggling, was met with help, whether it be verbal encouragement or someone offering to hold another’s backpack. When everyone reached the top, it was a great feeling as we worked not only as individuals but as a team.
Our hope is that these rhythms we embraced this week will continue to develop and grow even as we continue our normal rhythms in Georgia. This communal mentality of support, trust, and friendship we all employed will be a reminder of how as Christians we need to serve others. Regardless of our environment or everyday chaos, God will always find a place to come meet us if we open the door. ‘’Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me’’. Revelation 3:20