This past weekend, I went on a Men’s Retreat with a Catholic group called the King’s Men. Overall, it was a great experience for me and the two guys I went with.
Rustic to say the least, the retreat took place at French Creek State Park in Pennsylvania, not too far from Amish Country.
The 120 participants varied widely in age and background, and came from up and down the eastern seaboard.
Everything the King’s Men do has three common themes running through: How can men be better leaders, protectors, and providers for their families, friends, and community. I got a lot out of how these themes were presented, and overall the retreat left me with much to think about.
More than anything, I was struck by how tough things are for many, many people right now. Sometimes, we can be isolated in our own lives and situations that we may not connect/see people close by who are in bad situations.
This weekend gave me an opportunity to meet people who have been out of work for years, still searching for a job that could replace the income they once received before being laid off. Other guy’s stories involved losing everything due to illness, marriage collapse, addictions, etc.
At times, it felt like the brokenness in the room was going to overwhelm us. But then the hope and encouragement that comes through such moments took over. Faith can always overcome fear if you let it. Confidence will always come back if you trust God has another plan. Faith and confidence may come back quickly, or it may take a long, long time. The key is to stick with it.
I learned a lot this past weekend, much more than I was expecting. Times are tough, but I’ve had it pretty easy thus far. I realize it may not always be that way.
No matter what our circumstances, or whether you’re a man or a woman, we are all called to be better leaders, protectors, and providers. How we do these things will vary by person and situation. But we need to be out there doing it in our own way.
We’ve each been given gifts, and our families, friends, and community need us to be using and strengthening them so that together, we can be the people we are called to be.
While we can go on a spiritual retreat like I did this past weekend, this is not the time to retreat from the issues facing us.