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November 10, 2008

You Never Know

You Never Know

Today is another snowy afternoon here in this remote niche of the Colorado mountains. Imagine one of those thick, wet snows that sticks to every last twig and needle in the forest and makes the wood look like lace. That's what I'm seeing out my window. It's enough to fill this Ohioan with a child-like excitement for the winter months ahead. Today feels more quiet than usual, but that's partly because the last few days were anything but quiet. We Summiteers have survived another weekend of creativity, surprises, and good times. You never know what will happen next up here.

For example, Saturday afternoon a handful of us played a rollicking game of lumberjack baseball. Bet you've never heard of it. Neither had I--or anyone else, for that matter. It involves hitting the ball in whatever direction you please with an axe (or with an axe handle, if the head happens to disengage). You then leap over all obstacles in your way (tables, chairs, couches, people), to get to base. Did I mention there are five bases? The secondary object is to get back to home base. The primary object is to have fun. The best part about lumberjack baseball is that the rest of the rules are relative. You never know what will happen next. For instance, if Jonathon hits the ball toward one of his own teammates (Heather, in this case), then it is perfectly okay for Heather to throw the ball out the door and down the driveway so her team can get more home runs. Let's say, in this instance, Charissa is one of those trying to make a home run. No one has a problem with it if the other team tackles her and drags her away from home plate, except maybe Charissa's team. Charissa's team may pick up home plate and try to carry it to her. No one has a problem with them carrying the base to the runner, except perhaps the opposing team, who may engage in an epic tug-of-war struggle over the base until they can tag Charissa out. Any of this is acceptable when playing lumberjack baseball.

Another example of creativity: Not long after the afore-mentioned sport, the students were called together for a meeting. You never know what will happen when a meeting is called. Sure enough, this was no true meeting at all, but a surprise prepared for the girls. The guys divided us into groups and sent us to town on a scavenger hunt. We had to take pictures of ourselves with various objects, each picture being worth certain points. After our time had run out, each van received a box. Inside were notes of appreciation for each of us from each of the guys. But we weren't done yet. Upon arriving back at the Lodge, the guys surprised us yet again with an elegant appetizer dinner, which they served to us with stateliness and suave. After dinner, they told us to go get ourselves ready: we were going to do some line dancing! They had even hired callers. We had a grand ole time stompin' and clickin' and clappin' and skippin.' The close of the evening was the awards ceremony for the scavenger hunt. Every girl left with a smile on the face and a chocolate in the pocket. See, what did I tell you? You can never tell what will happen when a meeting is called.

Other enjoyable events occurred this weekend, like when the youth group of Grace in Pagosa came over and surprised us with crepes for dessert Sunday night. But we've also had some misfortunes, like the spread of our strep epidemic. Despite all our efforts at containing the disease, it seems several people contract it every day. Please pray for our health for the remaining few weeks, especially as we are scheduled to go to Santa Fe this weekend for our art trip.

Dr. Bauman is gone this week, so classes have been a bit different. This morning, our very own Michael Ortiz talked about the prayer in Matthew 6 and what principles we can glean for our prayers. The next hour we went off by ourselves and prayed the Lord's Prayer, utilizing what we'd just learned. Something about having a snowy wood all around you and watching new flakes pepper down noiselessly, each so delicately different, inspires awe for the Master Mind behind it all. It had been a while since I'd sought the stillness of the outdoors in order to find God. It was good for me.

There's been a lot of talk lately about going home. You may have noticed how many times this has been mentioned in the blogs. The big question is, once we're home, how will we keep up the disciplines and relationships we've been developing here? Thanks to Eric Smith, who spoke this morning on scheduling, Dr. Bauman, Dr. Moreland, and Dr. Williams, I've got some ideas. I don't know how it will look exactly, but that's life. You never know what God's got up His sleeve, but that just forces you further into His arms. And that's the best place to be, whether out in the world, back home with family in Ohio, or watching flakes fall from Snow Wolf Lodge.

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