The High School Retreat is always a time of reflection. It is a time when we look back and remember what our current seniors looked like as 9th graders.  Our 2017 House Captains attended their first High School Retreat right at the Blue Horizon Retreat Center.  It is incredible to see the changes in their lives. Maturity has replaced carefree silliness; discipline has overcome procrastination; and a deepening personal faith has readied them for the next stage in life. We are so privileged to watch this metamorphosis in these young adults.

As we pondered this remarkable change in our students from carefree ninth graders to maturing Seniors, we realized we were in the perfect place to observe  the passage of Monarch butterflies flying south en route to their destination in Mexico. God’s plan of growth, change and provision was being lived out in nature right before our eyes.  The Monarch butterfly journey is mind boggling. It speaks loudly to the tender care of our God in providing these delicate little creatures with all the necessary “tools” to make this unbelievable trip. In that moment, it served as a powerful reminder that if our God cares for these tiny insects, certainly we can be confident that He will direct and lead our seniors as their journey begins!

As 9th Graders, the most important thing to these young men and women was being with their friends and having fun.  As seniors, their focus shifted from seeking self-gratification to serving their fellow co-leaders and praying for all the members of their Teams while seeking ways to meet THEIR needs. Wow! What a difference….  As they have matured, they have truly learned the meaning of “consider others more important than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).

We don’t let the Team Leaders select their co Leaders, there are too many variables about which they know nothing. However, it is always gratifying when we hear comments such as “I am just trusting that God will put me with the right person,” or “the kids need at least one sanguine leader, so it is ok if I am out of my comfort zone.” That is maturity… seeking the best for others.

It is the love of Christ in these amazing young adults that makes it possible for them to think and act in this way even when they are tired and things appear to be falling apart. By encouraging one another and moving forward together in faith, these teenage leaders have accomplished things that some adults only wish they could accomplish.  It has been thrilling to watch this maturation take place with each year’s seniors.

Yes indeed, the changes since 9th grade are exponential.  One more semester and they begin the flight into an unknown future, secure in the knowledge that God knows every little detail and has already made provision for their needs! Watch out world!