Christina Hastings (Session 7)

Summit Student Conference Christina Hastings 2013 Colorado Session 7“Why does lightening come before the thunder, Daddy? Why do people get sick? And, Daddy, why is the sky blue?”

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had an insatiable appetite for asking the question, “Why?” Throughout the years, my “Why questions” have become harder to answer.

“Why do we say all other religions are wrong, Dad?” “Why do you believe what you do about homosexuality?” “And, Dad, why is abortion such a hot topic?”

One “why question” I did know the answer to was the question: “Christina, why are you going to Summit?” My heart’s cry was aching to find reasons, to find answers, to find truth. And so this black-haired, Texan girl packed up her bags and headed to Manitou Springs on a quest.

After being here for nine days, can I say that I’ve found what I was looking for? Yes, by God’s grace I can—not perfectly because the search will never end—but in a very fulfilling way. I’ve learned so much as the lectures have covered everything from the reliability of the gospel accounts to the self-defeating claims of postmodernism’s denial of absolute truth to comparing different religions to defending reasons for pro-life views. Today we heard from apologist Alex McFarland, giving us insights into the mind of skeptics and how to defend the Scriptures. I believe his most fascinating talk today was: “Divine Retribution: Reconciling the Goodness of God with the Reality of Hell.”

Before coming I had no clue of the unexpected ways I would be blessed at Summit outside of the lectures. The spiritual growth I’ve felt here is in large part due to my amazing, uplifting small group. I feel a bonding that I’ve rarely felt this quickly, and our group’s intimacy has allowed us to share hearty laughs, prayer, daily thoughts on the lectures, tender tears, loving hugs, delicious meals, shopping trips, and personal life stories of the valleys and mountains that God has brought us through. We meet even met outside of designated small group times because we love being with each other.

Regularly I’m drawn into deep conversations with other students where I’ve felt the raw mental stretch that comes from iron sharpening iron. The atmosphere here is so conducive to talking about spiritual matters though we also have a hilarious time talking about random fun subjects. Open forum on the front porch and personal discussions with the speakers over lunch has been a highlight of mine because we’ve been able to pick the minds of leaders much wiser and older than us. They’re speaking truth in our lives, but even more powerful is that they’re living out that truth before us.

Oh, and did I mention how much fun I’ve been having at Summit?! Just today I hiked up nearby Red Mountain in the morning and played Ultimate Frisbee during sports time this afternoon. I’ve experienced outings through Manitou Springs, Garden of the Gods, and the Olympic Training Center.

Very few things have impacted my life as much as Summit has this past week and a half. I’m sad that my time at Summit is coming to an end, but as Dr. Suess said, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” Today I’m reflecting on some new “why questions” that the praise and worship time at Summit has made me muse over:

“Father, why did you send your Son to die for such sinful humans? Why did you open my eyes to your salvation? And, Father, why have I been given the opportunity to be in such a blessed community here at Summit?”

And I am grateful.