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June 20, 2011

Sunday, June 19 (Session 3, Day 8)

Sunday, June 19 (Session 3, Day 8)

Before you read any further, I would like to warn you that this description of my day may not make much sense.

But I think I have a good excuse. I spent most of the day in question climbing a mountain -- a SERIOUS mountain – which explains my current state of exhaustion and sub-par brain and limb function. Unfortunately for you, I volunteered to write before I met Pike’s Peak. So here ’tis.

When this groggy mob of young adults stumbled out of their rooms this morning, hours earlier than seemed remotely reasonable, I was under no delusions as to my mountain-hiking abilities.

Basically I have none.

(Seriously. I’m from Indiana. Suffice it to say that mountains are not part of our landscape.)

What I do have, however, is a moderately well-developed sense of adventure; armed with this and a few key survival supplies (including but not limited to goldfish crackers, a camera, and an insufficiently warm sweatshirt) we set off.

Ten minutes into the hike I was sincerely questioning the sense of this endeavor. Two hours later, I was convinced. This was crazy. Insane. But utterly worth it.

You know that part in The Magician’s Nephew where Aslan is giving Digory directions to the garden atop the mountain? If you don’t, I am very sorry. Find it. Read it. I shall proceed regardless. So, Digory is looking off into newly-created distance, and sees forests and more forests followed by hills followed by mountains followed by bigger mountains complete with mist and ice, and I think there was a river and a waterfall in there somewhere, but ignore that part since it isn’t applicable. Picture that and then imagine yourself, not on the flat ground below, but twelve thousand feet up the side of a mountain with the forests rolling away below you into a wide valley with ripples and peaks opposite.


Yep. It was amazing. I know thousands of people have said it before me, and probably said it better, but few things fill one with such – I don’t even know what… wonder? Awe? Thankfulness? Yes. Maybe thankfulness. And then, as each weary person wearily dropped their weary weary selves onto an obliging boulder, we thought of something. Does everyone who sees this stunning panorama feel as thankful as we? And if so, whom do they thank? I’m really sorry if this savors of supremely lame philosophy. Blame it on the aforementioned exhaustion and bear with me. I mean, seriously. We look at it and say “Whoa, God is awesome! Look at this! Thank you, God!” But really, “Thank you, blind forces of random chance for blindly and randomly…etc” just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. (Please do not take this as an example of the deep thinking Summit students are being taught this week.)

After philosophizing for a while, we continued up the mountain and – wonder of wonders – actually survived to the top. We learned, however, that hiking Pike’s Peak makes one realize certain things they’d taken for granted. Things like oxygen. And legs that work. I expect to take at least three and a half weeks to recover. And, with that in mind, I shall close.

In all seriousness, this week has been amazing. We’re halfway through and I, for one, am loving it. Please continue to pray for us, that not one of us would go home the same as we came. Pray that we’d know Christ in more real ways than ever before, and continuously grow more like him.

And consider carefully before climbing Pike’s Peak. Especially if you are from Indiana, and have to write about it afterward.

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