Week four was our re-entry week. We still had morning sessions, but evening sessions were dedicated to giving our vision talks and celebrating the time that we got to spend together that month. We started the week by talking about having humility as a leader. We talked about how having humility is knowing who it is that God has called us to be, yet taking on the aspect of a servant. Humility is born out of selfless service and sacrifice. It is not something that is merely attained. My favorite quote from the first day comes from Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline.
“Nothing disciplines the inordinate desires of the flesh like service, and nothing transforms the desires of the flesh like serving in hiddenness. The flesh whines against service but screams against hidden service. It strains and pulls for honour and recognition. It will devise subtle, religiously acceptable means to call attention to the service rendered. If we stoutly refuse to give in to this lust of the flesh, we crucify it. Every time we crucify the flesh, we crucify our pride and arrogance.”
I realized that I love serving people. I love it because serving people is one of the ways that I like showing people that I care for/love people. But I tend to be very biased in that. For example, I hate doing things like washing the dishes and cleaning the bathroom, but I’ve been challenging myself to serve in ways that benefit others, even if they are things that I do not like. I’ve also been challenging myself to serve people when it means going unnoticed. I took that challenge to also mean that I should learn what it means to give unrequited love. (You know how I said earlier that serving people is a way in which I show them that I love them? Well, if my serving them goes unnoticed, then in a way it’s giving unrequited love. In a way. I realize as I’m thinking this through more that it’s probably much more than that. But, it’s a start.)
The rest of IVLI morning sessions were spent talking about ways in which we can bring back everything that we learned. We also had a banquet, and a celebration night where we shared testimonies about our experiences at IVLI. At the banquet, we got to learn square dancing. The brought in a DJ and everything and we danced for about two hours! It was so much fun!!! Earlier in the month we had another dance party where we learned different dance styles (line dances, hip hop, salsa, reggae and swing), and basically danced in a way of worshipping God. As far as fun things go, the dancing was one of my favorites. Another favorite was an open mic night that some of the students organized. It was a time where we could present poetry that we had written, sing songs that we loved, do a monologue, dance, etc. Dancing and writing speak to my heart in a way that almost nothing else can. I’m not sure how to explain it, but it gives me a connection to the world, to myself, and to God that I don’t get from most other things. There was one night that my family group took the Floating Bear (a boat) out on the lake and read poetry. It was such a beautiful experience! (We did a lot of other fun things as well-canoe rides, ice cream runs, hiking on nature trails, etc.)