Once again I found myself in Ligonier, PA for the OCF College Conference. This being my third year I had a complete sense of the program and I was excited to see some old friends. To my shame, my prior knowledge of the Conference gave me the “going-through-the-motions” mindset. To my surprise, my lack of excitement was quickly changed the second I walked into the Conference Center. The atmosphere, the kindness and the true genuineness of all participants floored me. Every year I continue to be amazed at the spiritual strength of the Conference. It is palpable and impossible to miss it.
After quickly overcoming my “going-through-the-motions” mindset, I had an incredible time once again. My incredible experience came from some self-reflection that was sparked by the Conference and the coming New Year. During the hours of driving after the Conference was over, I had quite a bit of time to think about the true impact the Conference had on me.
Realizing that this would be my last Conference, I thought about the change the Conferences have had on me. I go to the Conference and my faith is overwhelmingly strengthened. After leaving I start to forget my great experiences and life starts to take hold of me. After this year’s Conference, I now know that it is fully my responsibility to take control of my spiritual life and become the Orthodox Christian I am called to be and want to be.
In closing, this past year has had its good and bad times for me, and I started to lose touch with my spiritual life. God has a great way of giving us what we need, of directing our steps to the “place” we need to be. Through the Conference He gave me the “wake up call” I needed in order to see that I was not living the life of an Orthodox Christian, the life I should be, and really wanted, to be living. Through the Conference, God has again shown me the Way, the way to live, the way I truly want to live.