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June 27, 2012

Tuesday, June 26 (Session 3, Day 10)

My goals: to love God on a deeper level every day, to gain knowledge, to establish a greater understanding of right and wrong, to give God the glory in my actions, and to share the love of Christ with others. This list of goals is something that I can pursue my entire life. It is also something I have been working on throughout the past ten days at Summit.

This morning, I woke up in a room full of girls, sleeping bags, and strewn luggage. My first thoughts were not of joy. I hadn’t gotten a good night of sleep, and I didn’t have any clean clothes left of the two outfits I had with me. I managed to work up the energy to get up, throw my hair back, get dressed, and brush my teeth. We headed to the first session after breakfast, which was presented by Sean McDowell, on the religion of Islam. We learned about the life of Muhammad, statistics related to the growing religion, and some differences between Allah, and the Christian God. This subject was informing and eye-opening. It awakened me to the numerous number of Muslims that populate local areas in the United States. Many of them are searching for truth but are lacking knowledge. Something that was placed in my heart during this lesson was that if one of my goals in life truly is to share the love of Christ with others, then I need to be taking more opportunities to engage in conversations with non-believers, including the people of Islam.

After all the morning sessions, we were told that we would be allowed to travel back to the hotel for a short trip in order to retrieve our dearly-missed belongings after lunch. I was very grateful for this opportunity, not only for the obvious reasons, but because I experienced a God-moment on the way back from the Summit hotel. I was sitting with the other girls in my small group at the back of the bus, which provided us with the most astounding view of the fire that caused our evacuation. The smoke consumed the sky for miles, and we watched in amazement. I had never witnessed a natural disaster before, and it was thrilling and tragic at the same time. I could see the fire taking control of the mountain and making its way to the town below. I sat there and prayed to God for protection over the firefighters and also protection over the homes that lay just below. At this moment, I was instantly humbled. The past two days, I had grumbled and complained about our not-so-ideal situation. God blessed me with the realization of just how blessed we have been through this ordeal. When others had to leave their homes behind, I only had to leave a few pieces of clothing. When others had to stay in a nearby high school’s halls, I was staying in the luxury of an air-conditioned and welcoming church. When others didn’t have the hope of Jesus, I was learning more about how to be a better disciple of Him. I was truly overwhelmed with the grace of God.

I found a verse at the end of our evening session that I thought really matched up with my goals and aligned with what we were trying to accomplish at Summit. The verse was Philippians 1: 9-11 which says, “And this is my prayer: that your love may about more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ-to the glory and praise of God.”

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