Talia Ogren (Session 1)

Student Conference Talia Ogren 2015 Colorado Session 1I began counting down the weeks until Summit on January 1st; twenty-eight weeks before the first session kicked off.

“Excitement” isn’t a good enough word to describe my anticipation. I was beyond excited. By the time I left for Manitou Springs (where Summit Colorado is located), all of my siblings (and most of my friends) were sick and tired of hearing about how amazing it was going to be.

The opportunity to attend Summit was presented to me through some friends of mine, who had attended sessions the previous year. I had attended a similar camp the summer before, where for the very first time, I had been challenged to think well and wrestle with new ideas in light of God’s Word. This left me with a deep love for learning about the Truth and how to recognize it in a world that so often warps or rejects it. So when Session 1 of Summit 2015 finally arrived, I came with a happy heart and high expectations.

Now that I am here, life at Summit has hit me hard — in a good way, of course. The sessions are intense, the friendships are deep and meaningful, and at the end of the day everyone is completely worn out. It has been everything that I had expected and more. But it has also been challenging in a way that I was not expecting. When I came to Summit, I was hoping to meet people who all had the same desire to honor the Lord and would encourage me in my walk with the Lord. The past few months, my relationship with God had felt rather dry, and I suppose, in a sense, I was hoping to get a boost back in the right direction through attending Summit. While this isn’t really a bad thing in and of itself, I still essentially came with the expectation of being served and in the process, I forgot for awhile to have an open and teachable heart.

There is a whole lot more to life than pursuing spiritual “boosts” and strong feelings. Emotions don’t last. It’s easy to be at Summit and feel alive in the Spirit and ready to do anything the Lord may ask of me. But the challenge comes when real life hits: starting with the small things. Someone gets on your nerves. You have to get up early. You don’t really want to read your Bible. When I go home, I will have to decide to handle my relationships with friends and family graciously and lovingly. I will have to keep plowing away at schoolwork. I don’t always enjoy these things, and I certainly struggle to glorify God when it doesn’t feel exciting.

This is where the line is drawn between knowing what I believe and then deciding how I am going to live by it.

Here at Summit, I have learned to ask good questions and understand what faith in Jesus Christ should look like. Now, as I prepare to go home, I have learned that the key to living a life on fire for Jesus is to honor Him in EVERYTHING I do, whether large or small. I think it’s going to be hard. But I am looking forward to the continued challenge. 

Summit has given me an awesome place to discover what a life in Christ can look like, and I hope that from this, I can learn to follow Him better.

God is good!