Ephesians 6:12 "For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places."
I know what you are thinking. "I thought this was a spiritual retreat. What's with all the weapons?" There are the obvious explanations. During a free afternoon David Joe and Chuck (pictured above) taught us how to shoot. It is a way of life on the farm. We carried the rifle with us as we hiked through the woods in case we came face to face with some wild boar or coyotes. And we brought machetes to help clear the path.
Then there are the not so obvious observations. It wasn't our theme for the weekend but the subject of spiritual warfare came up many times. I'm guessing all of us could identify the recent attacks from the enemy in our individual lives. Most of us came to the retreat feeling beat up and to some extent, defeated. But I'm not sure the conversations about these things would have ever come up if we hadn't started talking about weapons, how they work, and their purpose.
The battles we are fighting are part of a very real war that far too often many like to ignore. We can't though. We know how the story ends. God dominates! But knowing that ending doesn't me we get a free pass to not fight the battles. This weekend we got to talk very openly about these battles and we got to encourage each other along the way.
If shooting some guns and swinging some machetes is what it takes to get students to dialogue about our real battles, I'll shoot targets in a corn field any day.