Why Do We Retreat?

I never intended to be a Caronport lifer. 

The extent of my time here was supposed to be a few years to finish my degree. Almost 15 years later, (and almost 21 since I started at BCA), it seems like this is home now. 

And I now love it. Caronport is a great place to come home to... assuming I’m able to leave it for a while. The truth is, though I love it here, I need to retreat away from my normal life at times. 

I think this is common with most of us. It may be a vacation down south, camping up north, or maybe a trip to the mountains. These moments of retreat take us out of the daily grind of our normal lives and let us enjoy a breathtaking change.

Retreat is so important for our minds, our hearts, and our souls. 

When these retreat moments are more spiritual in nature, they are sometimes characterized as a ‘spiritual mountaintop experiences.’ And while I’ve met many people who are down on creating these moments for youth and young adults, especially while I was getting my Youth Ministry degree in the mid-2000s, I’ve learned they can be critically helpful for a young person’s spiritual formation. Creating these moments for youth and young adults has been a hallmark of Briercrest for generations. 

We need the mountains

Scripture will talk about the storms of life coming—that there's ups and downs and hills and valleys. Jesus also teaches about the narrow path and the wide path, and counsels us that the narrow path is not easy. There are all these allusions to life not being a static, easy, the-same-thing-every-day kind of life (enter Lego Movie analogy).

Meanwhile, all throughout the story of Scripture, we see key figures retreating out to the mountains to meet with God. As much as He is present in the storms and valleys and along the narrow path, He is also waiting up on the mountaintop to meet with us.

There’s something about the mountains and about what we experience there that our hearts and souls yearn for. Nobody sells a mug that says, “The flatlands of Saskatchewan are calling, and I must go.”

AJ Crocker

AJ serves as the Vice President of Marketing and Recruitment for Briercrest and the Director of Youth Quake. He has also served as the chaplain for Briercrest Christian Academy (formerly Caronport High School).⁠ He graduated from Caronport High School in ’02 and Briercrest College with a BA in Youth Ministry in ‘08. He now lives in Caronport with his wife, Cheryl, and their children Brooklyn, Alivia, and Cayden.⁠⠀