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June 17, 2011

Thursday, June 16 (Session 3, Day 5)

Thursday, June 16 (Session 3, Day 5)

This morning I woke up slowly to the pleasant sound of a cell phone ringing at 6:20 AM, and at 6:30 AM, and again and again, disturbing my precious last hour of sleep. This unwanted noise was finally silenced when one of my roommates went over to a neighboring room and turned off their alarm. We then began the greatest competitive event of Summit: room cleaning.

Although my day at Summit may have begun inauspiciously, this was quickly remedied when I was rewarded with a delightful breakfast of waffles and sausages. Breakfast at Summit is a great way to start the day. I often get in line five to ten minutes before the dining room opens, and still find I am not the first in line. In the short free time before the first lecture, I engaged in another great competitive event of Summit: epic foosball games. One of the most popular areas in the hotel is the game room. Whether singles, doubles, or some other wacky version of foosball, the simple game soon turns intense.

I then made a quick transition to the classroom. Del Tackett spoke about the rediscovery of America’s religious and moral heritage. While I have heard this topic discussed before, I found the challenge he presented was the most inspirational part of his lecture. He told us that it is up to us to remember our heritage, and to draw on that truth to strengthen our future. One of the great things about Summit is that the speakers are so accessible. About twenty of us gathered around after the lecture and listened as he answered our questions. I was particularly struck by his insights into the solutions that our educational system needs. After a short break, I sat back down and listened to Chuck Edwards’s teaching about Secular Humanism and Marxism. What one quickly learns about Summit is that even though two weeks seems like a long time, there is so much material to cover that one feels that one is only scratching the surface. This was especially true of Chuck Edwards’s lecture on two opposing belief systems. I learned a lot from his lecture, but one could easily see that there was so much more he wanted to say. After soaking in these profound ideas, I enjoyed the greatest meal of this week so far, roast beef sandwiches with au jus dipping sauce. The food here is varied and delicious, and I find myself constantly looking forward to mealtime.

After lunch, Ryan Dobson spoke about the unique challenge of following God when times get tough. That seems like a cliché, but as Ryan can do, he made it deeply engaging. I found his openness and personal account of his own struggles fascinating, and I was encouraged to dedicate myself now to follow God when I face struggles. I was blown away by his heart for the lost and his wonderful sense of humor.

Another highlight of the day was the sports time. (I know that it seems like there were tons of highlights for me.) Since this was the second sports time, we had learned our lesson and made sure a student brought a basketball. I had a blast playing basketball with some of the other students. Although the thin air made the game very tiring, the back-and-forth action was very enjoyable, and I look forward to playing again.

Back at Summit, it was time for me to eat again. This time we dined on pasta and meatballs, with carrot cake on the side. I ate as quickly as I could and headed out to the porch. Ryan Dobson was holding an open forum. This time allows us to guide the conversation with the leaders and speakers who come here to Summit. Today, I listened quietly as he spoke about relationships and his conversations with God.

We finished the day with a lecture from Mike Adams about abortion. Although I have long held the belief that abortion was a deep societal evil, I was reminded that it is the taking of human life on a mass scale and as such is one of the most important issues of our day. I found his talk was enhanced by his somewhat unorthodox and humorous remarks.

After this, I headed down into the cramped basement of an adjoining home with my small group. We were sharing our testimonies and stories of how we got to this point. I was absolutely amazed by some of the stories of my fellow students. They have gone through some struggles I can hardly even imagine, and because of this they have been drawn to God. I found their courage and depth of personal faith encouraging. It gave me a sense of thankfulness for my privileged Christian upbringing, but also, as one student put it, a sense of humility for my relative lack of experience in the struggles that make up a large part of life.

Today at Summit I have experienced highlight after highlight. Now, sitting at a desk feeling the cool evening breeze, I am ready to sleep like a rock and prepare for another fun-filled day of learning.

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  • June 17, 2011 // 09:09 am //  # 
    Penny Davidovitch's avatar Penny Davidovitch

    Great narrative (no surprise there).  Sounds like an awesome experience and it appears you are making the most of it.  What an opportunity.  Enjoyed reading your insights and appreciated your humility.  Like many others, we’ve been praying for you (and your mom) and will continue to do so grin

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