Article by Raven Horan, ’19, published in January 2018 edition of The Correspondent
This November, I had the opportunity along with about 40 other students, to go on West’s second Kairos. Kairos is a three-day retreat designed for teenagers as a tool to build our relationship with God. For three days, it was just me, my peers, and the teachers who went with us as chaperones. I can’t disclose much of what happens at Kairos (and a lot happens) because it’s not fair to the kids who haven’t gone. It’s not right to spoil the experience. Plus, everybody’s time on Kairos is different, and you should go in as a “blank slate” so to speak.
What I will say was that it was amazing. That doesn’t mean easy. There were times during the retreat when I was tired and frustrated, and once when I was feeling so many emotions simultaneously, I didn’t know how to process it (at one point, I was sobbing and laughing hysterically at the same time).
Mostly, Kairos gave me the chance to examine myself and my relationship with God and others. I learned so much about the people around me. I learned that you really don’t know what goes on in people’s lives, rumors are often false and always hurtful, and your relationship with God is built one day at a time. I highly recommend going to Kairos if you haven’t already. If you are planning to go, here’s some advice:
- Trust the process- they’re not going to answer your questions anyway. Just go with it. It’ll save you a lot of irritation.
- Make new friends- you’ll have plenty of free time. Don’t just use it to talk to the people you always talk to. You never know what you’ll find in common with people.
- It isn’t just for religious people- there’s something here for everybody. If you don’t believe in God, the praying might be tedious, but at the very least you’ll get away for a while.
- Don’t worry about school- There is literally nothing they could teach in three days that you can’t catch up with when you get back.
- Open up- no one is going to judge you or repeat what you said. Whatever’s bothering you, get it off your chest.
- Don’t eat the pudding- That’s not a metaphor. For dessert, they give you pudding. Don’t eat it.
All in all, I’d say Kairos was pretty great. Maybe not the single greatest thing to happen to me, but it was helpful. I’m far from perfection, but Kairos provided me with a solid first step in my journey of faith. I hope it’ll do the same for you.