Editor's note: Meagan Smith is a current 5280 Fellowship participant. We asked her to reflect on the Fellowship's opening retreat and the questions that it highlighted for her.
The weeks leading up to the 5280 Fellowship’s first retreat were demanding, without much time for reflection. My main train of thought was don’t be late–and don’t miss your carpool.
During the drive to Toth Ranch in Hot Sulphur Springs, we discussed the usual topics among new friends: where are you from, what are your interests, what do you do? We pondered what to expect from the retreat. Our hope was that it would be a catalyst, providing clarity and direction.
The retreat ended up being a thoughtfully cultivated balance of time away from the hustle, relationship building, intensive learning, and spiritual seeking that set the foundation for the rest of the program. One of the best things was the variety of churches each of the participants came from. We weren’t all thinking the same thing. The interdenominational aspect led to an environment of inquiry and curiosity.
As the retreat started, we dove into the Genesis narrative to kick-off the curriculum. We dissected the chapters as if in a literature class, looking at themes about creativity, community, culture, and work.
At the end of the retreat, Brian Gray, COO of DIFW and director of the Fellowship, cautioned us not to panic if we felt like we were walking away with more questions than answers. It was only the first weekend, and the best starting point was to have questions that lead to action.
To Brian’s point, it’s fair to say that this retreat was a catalytic experience. I am currently short on specifics, but I am exploring questions:
I trust that clarity will come. From what I’ve seen so far, the program leaders are pretty savvy at leveraging fundamentals in experiential learning for adults. And the emphasis on spiritual disciplines, such as prayer, provides an anchor for personal formation.
I’m starting to become conscientious about my day-to-day decisions. I feel empowered to understand contemporary problems in my industry. I’m starting to identify ways I may be of service or provide leadership regardless of the environment. Essentially, exploring these questions is changing my posture toward work, and life.
Meagan is a 5280 Fellowship participant (Class of 2018–19).