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#MyHoneyRock Blog

Posted December 22, 2014 by
Tags: Traditions

by Mary Elise Masters, HoneyRock Staff and Passage Leader

As I stand at the office of HoneyRock, decked out in multiple winter layers, staff nametag and backpack filled with more layers, I peer expectantly past the HoneyRock sign to the big bend in the road. I’m waiting with other winter retreat hosts for the first retreat group’s arrival! Questions of “what will the group be like”, “are we ready for this?” “will I be able to start the campfire on the lake?” and “what things does the Lord have planned for this time?” drift through my mind as I shuffle my boots in the crispy snow.

While we wait in the snowy silence of the Northwoods, 40 plus students and volunteers ready to escape the confines of fast food scented church vans are growing in energy and volume as they drive through the winding roads of highway X. Tales of fast tube runs, sleigh rides, and infamous broomball competitions are told by those who are winter retreat veterans, while others ponder some of the same questions of "what will it be like," "will there be endless hot chocolate," and again "what does the Lord have planned?"

That was the beginning of just one of many winter retreats, seasons, and moments in which my heart was filled with nervous but hopeful expectation for something unknown. It has been quite a while since my first retreat hosting experience, but the memory of waiting expectantly for van headlights to appear around the bend parallels my advent ponderings.

During recent staff devotion this quote was given. "The season of Advent means there is something on the horizon the likes of which we have never seen before… .What is possible is to not see it, to miss it, to turn just as it brushes past you. And you begin to grasp what it was you missed, like Moses in the cleft of the rock, watching God’s back fade in the distance. So stay. Sit. Linger. Tarry. Ponder. Wait. Behold. Wonder. There will be time enough for running. For rushing. For worrying. For pushing. For now, stay. Wait. Something is on the horizon (Jan L. Richardson)."

HoneyRock, Wheaton College's outdoor center for leadership development