Blogs - Summit Semester
October 26, 2012
Shooting Stars and Saving Grace
Monday, 15, October, 2012
Mondays are our weekends here at Semester, so the optional activity for the day was a trip into Durango to visit the old portion of downtown, which has nice walking streets and quaint touristy shops. Not all of us wanted to spend the day driving, so those who chose to stay back at the lodge had a nice relaxing day off to sleep, read, hike, bike or study. Michael Jester and Ryan Hartwell left shortly after 9am to ride their bikes to Wolf Creek Pass and back which is about an 80 mile round trip. I had chosen the trip to Durango, so I passed the day visiting teashops and picking up a few Christmas gifts for my family; and of course I had to stop at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for some dark chocolate covered toffee as we left town. We arrived back at the lodge shortly before dinner time, which as you probably know by now is served family style, and on this special day we had two birthdays to celebrate; Logan and Abby. Tradition dictates that we sing “Happy Birthday” to the birthday person at every meal. Well to make up for not being around for breakfast and lunch, we caught up with ourselves at dinner and sang it off-key all the way through three times. Honestly I don’t know why that is such a hard song to sing in tune, but it seems to be a struggle here. Or maybe it’s a conspiracy of some in the hopes that we’ll end the tradition. Good luck with that one! To complete one very full day our evening hours were spent in small groups discussing another chapter of “The Gospel Centered Life.” All in all, it was a great day.
Tuesday, 16, October, 2012
This week is a little different than normal because of our professor’s schedules, but today was work crews, our Hebrews study led by Dustin and an optional trip to the natural hot springs in Pagosa in the evening. My work crew was sent to sand the back wall of Echo Canyon, which we are almost ready to stain again. I think my arms have finally gotten used to the constant vibrating of the orbital sanders and the job has started growing on me; or maybe that ‘s just the layers of sawdust from the sander above me, I can’t really tell anymore. And just what we all need after an afternoon of work crews is a nice long soak in the world’s deepest natural hot springs, which are right in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Sadly, there were a few friends who opted out of going to the springs because they have been fighting colds, but nearly everyone was able to make it and I know everyone who went came back and slept like a baby.
Wednesday, 17, October, 2012
This morning is usually our solitude time, but as special as this week is, we decided to change it up. Dr. Mike Mandt and his wife came to visit for two days and he lectured to us on the Creationism vs. Evolution argument. I have had the privilege of hearing many talks like this but I always enjoy the reiteration because you can remember something new every time. Dr. Mandt and his wife ate their meals with us in the lodge and it was a pleasure to see them interact in a sweet way with each other as well as being able to pick his brain a little deeper with our questions. Wednesday afternoons are exercise time and really we can just cross that out and write Volleyball Time! We get very serious about our games of speed volleyball, and today was no different. Later in the evening, after another two-hour class, Hannah and I trekked up to Elk Head rock in the dark to look at the stars. The view from the top is incredible; which combined with the absence of a visible moon right now and the still warm temperature, it created the perfect recipe for a night of stargazing. We were both awestruck by the majesty of our Savior’s handiwork and did our best to pick out all the constellations we could while counting the shooting stars. Sometimes I kind of feel like God flung me here from NY to CO because I only decided to come to Semester after my fall plans collapsed, but it didn’t take me long to realize His plans are so much better than mine and it was grace alone that brought me to this place. I am so thankful to be here, tucked away on a mountaintop where I can get lost in worship of my Savior. If he can count and name the stars, then he can handle my life too.
Briana Donley, 23
Briana came to faith at the young age of four, and considers herself greatly blessed that she did not have to have a more “dramatic” conversion. She has been active in her local church and even attended Word of Life Bible Institute for a year before pursuing a nursing degree. Briana wants to be a missionary nurse that cares for the bodies and souls of those who do not know the Lord as Savior, but is surrendering these dreams to the Lord.