Last weekend, I did something despicable. What could it be, you ask? Well, I left the warm comfort of my Austin home and ventured out to a small town called Sommerville (some 90+ miles away) to spend a few days with a massive group of maroon-wearing, howdy-saying, two-stepping Aggies. Yep, you read that right. I betrayed my fellow Longhorns by choosing to surround myself with our biggest rivals. And the most terrible part is, I enjoyed every second of it. Tell me people, how will I ever be able to live with myself with this sin on my shoulders?
However, I am not without an excuse. There was simply no way I could resist the opportunity to join hands with Jason and all of his close friends in praising our one and only Lord. Because that is what the Awakening retreat is truly about -- lifting each other up as we strengthen our own relationship with our merciful Savior. Whether you're from Austin, College Station, Iceland, or South Africa, the faith that we have in Him binds us together to form the Mystical Body of Christ; we all play a major part in God's plan for mankind, and as long as we follow Him, nothing is impossible: "Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God's grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ. For if he is the head, we are the members; he and we together are the whole man.... the fullness of Christ then is the head and the members. But what does 'head and members' mean? Christ and the Church" (St. Augustine). Beautiful image, isn't it?
You can't you really blame me for embracing my lucky chance to worship with such wonderful people, can you? (I mean, besides their weird obsession with the word "whoop," they all seem to be pretty normal.) And so, with that said, I must add that I feel absolutely no shame for participating in one of the most rewarding retreats of my life, with some of the most incredible people I've ever come to know... Even if it meant being the only Longhorn there. (A courageous feat, if you ask me! But that didn't stop the Aggies from picking on me all weekend. All in good fun, of course.)
***So many people have asked me which Awakening I enjoyed more, Aggie or Longhorn. And to be perfectly honest, I could never choose. Both were completely unique experiences (I was a retreater for one and a staffer for the other), and neither lacked any of the essential ingredients for an amazing retreat. Truth.