Where to find motivation for your day?

Every day we are confronted by a great multitude of choices regarding what we watch, listen to, and take part in. And the question is always the same – what, of all the things on offer, would be a blessing for me?

The Motivation Retreat had been a dream of the Academy for some time, when it finally took form for the first time in late November of 2016. Academy students from various courses have the opportunity to take part and enjoy everything this retreat has to offer. These days bear a special significance for each participant, though for each in a different way, as the hours go by listening to lecturers, enjoying fellowship in prayer and worship, as well as conversations and just spending time together. Time flows in the joy of meeting one another again, as tea or coffee are drunk and the situation is discussed in the different congregational contexts of the participants, we learn together to find new ways forward in how we may best serve God, being so different each of us. Time is set aside also for reflection and individual conversation with spiritual advisors, which help form each student in their wish to pursue studies, being able to share the things that encourage, as well as discuss, receive advice and raise up in prayer doubts and anxieties.

The mornings begin with Laudes morning prayers or a Communion service, thus sanctifying the day ahead and placing the time in God’s hands. Seconds turn to minutes, and minutes – to hours, as we arrive at the Sext midday prayers. How many more blessings we would experience, if we could only place our Lord Jesus Christ first day by day, and be with Him in our mornings, our afternoons, our evenings. In prayer we lift up our hearts in gratitude to our Lord! Evenings conclude with the Completorium night prayer, which helps still our thoughts, words, and actions, reminding us that as the beginning of life is firmly in God’s hands, so is its end. So great is our God! And in front of Him we fall silent, and head off to bed in peace, reliance, and safety. The night pulls over our heads a veil of stars as a great testament of the love of God for man.

In the Motivation Retreat students experience the great revelation of how written words can suddenly become very much alive and self-testifying, and God finds each of us in our own time and place, and each of us, as we are, He calls, no matter how correct, smart, learned, or old. That is why the Motivation Retreat, and the whole Academy, is a great experience how such different people can become so alike in faith and reliance.

The Retreat ends with a Communion service to the glory of God, in which, hand in hand, all the participants – students, lecturers, staff, and ministers – take part in different forms of serving. God is great and great are all His works in each life, if only we let Him, have faith and worship Him!

This world tempts us in offering so many ways to become drowsy and inflamed from what it calls happiness through its shows, leisure opportunities, and adrenaline-inducing thrills. But where is the soul of man in all of this? The best and greatest thing is to seek the Lord in our thoughts, words, and deeds here and now, and let Him work in us so that we would come to know true happiness and joy in our hearts. This is what we strive for and experience in the Motivation Retreat – being united as many and diverse members of that same one body that is Christ Jesus.

All glory be to God! – For all that we receive!

In love and gratitude,
Inga Stonka
Luther Academy Alumna 2018

Students on the Motivation Retreat

The students were asked the questions ‘what was the most valuable thing in the Retreat that you experienced’ and ‘what theological, personal, spiritual, or practical lessons have you taken away from the days at the Retreat in your memory, mind, and heart,’ and they answered these things:

and individual discussion with a minister

ice breaker games

fellowship (the feeling of a shoulder)

games with ministers

a Retreat for ‘pulling you out’ from your daily routine

morning and evening prayer together, and Communion

AMOUNT of coffee

very good food

the practicality of what is taught at lectures

discovering my and others’ gifts of the Holy Spirit