Saturday, June 18, 2011

Colorado Adventures, Lake City Like a Shining Star

Week five or so here. I'm back in Lake City, CO, basking in the unrivaled glow of time off. It's a lovely Colorado day, light cumulous clouds overhead, providing cover from the sun. The air is at 65 degrees or so, a mark from which it does not often stray. This week, kids finally showed up to Ute Trail Ranch for a Wilderness trip. It was an atypical trip, lasting only two days. But, we hiked them four miles up to 10,000 feet where we built a camp fire and put up tents and watched the sunset. There were fifty of them, traveling as a youth group choir from a seemingly well-to-do Naperville, IL church. The hike was difficult, and I held back with the ones that were having a more difficult time adjusting to the altitude. But, we made it in glorious culmination to the campsite, and ate dinner as victors of something that many of these kids thought themselves to be incapable of. It was awesome. From there, we hiked up one last leg to a spot above the tree line, affectionately called "top of the world," to watch the sun set over the San Juan Mountains. Once there, we spoke a bit about how great our God is, and how much greater His love is for us than we give him credit for. As we were preparing to leave, the kids stood together and sang "Mighty to Save" as the sun sank underneath the mountains across a giant valley. It was beautiful. We sang out, 50 strong, shouting the name of the great Creator that held us tightly in that place of unequaled beauty. It was one of the most serene and satisfying moments in my life. It was beautiful.
So, from there, I push forward into this summer. He is holding us tightly out here, and we get to come face to face with Him week after week. And now, we can walk with kids as they come face to face with Him, too. I'm very, very ready. Now, just to find adequate rest...

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Colorado Adventures, Let us fight for effervescence.

Lake City, CO. I'm surrounded by mountains. There's a tender coffee shop in this rustic town of four hundred, wherein I sit and reconnect with the world. Tyler Lyle is singing about pinewood chests with words like "my inheritance is scars and bricks, but i'll do my best" ringing through crumbling headphones. It's beautiful here. Colorado is a kind of Narnia, where everywhere I look is a photograph that should be on display at the Smithsonian. We've been given a much needed day off, through our shifting and scraping to try and get camp ready for the clientele's arrival this coming week.
Yesterday, myself and five friends of mine crawled off of a week long trail with 50 pounds of merchandise strapped to our backs. We hiked for five days, through wind and ice and snow, learning how to lead kids through the wilderness. It was exhausting at times, at times beautiful. We walked 20 miles, slept on snow two nights, punched through 4 feet of the same snow across a plateau that sat at 12,600 ft. More than a few times, I thought about 996 Curran St., Dr. Bombay's, roommates, friends and family biding summer back east. But, through the back pain, the ice-scraped shins, the altitude headaches, and the sub-freezing nights, I saw something great shining through. There is God here, in these mountains. It's taken me a while to see it, as Atlanta has been growing to feel more and more like home. I saw God there, active and illuminated. But, this Colorado has felt somewhat of a chore since rambling out three weeks ago. Life is here, and I saw it concrete and shouting this last week. These people that I'm with are beautiful, this work that is being done is beautiful, this God that holds us in his hands; the same hands that molded these peaks and plateaus that I can't avoid looking at no matter what direction I face, He is beautiful. So, pray for me that I might see it forever. Pray that life will flood out of me as I chase after a God that has chased after me. Thank you for your prayers, I can't wait to sit around a table and share my stories.