Loco LL

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Mountain Top Experience



I can remember the days when I was a teenager when I would go to young life camp every single summer. My dad was the camp doc, so we would go free from the time I was in 7th grade until I graduated. It was where I first heard about this loving Jesus, who I decided to begin this wild and crazy life with over 20 years ago!! I loved those camping experiences. It was like a renewal of faith every year, and yes I was one of those kids who made a re-commitment every year. But it was what I needed. I had no Christian friends in high school, and not even a youth group until my junior year. I lived in the valley during the year, looking forward to those mountain top experiences every summer. Literally, we would hike a mountain, and I would always sing that young life song, "It's amazing how you love me...I would climb the highest mountain and sail beyond the sea and it would always bring me back to you again...because it's amazing how you love me..." Come on now, I know I had to get a couple of ya'll singing that tune. It's a classic! Anyways, since graduating from college, I have had very few mountain top experiences. WE just don't go on these retreats where you pull in, fill up your tank, and go on about you business. In a sense, I think I have become kind of skeptical of all that and a bit judgemental even. I am not sure why, though if I really took the time to think about it, I am sure I could come up with many reasons. Anyhow, this past weekend really made me see past all of that and I was able to find spiritual renewal and clarity of mind in a way that I don't think I have ever experienced. My parents invited me to go to Orkney Springs with them. I am so glad I decided to do it. It is connected with the Episcopal church and started partly by a doctor many years ago who had a vision of healing being a mind, body and spirit thing. I mainly went because I wanted to get up in the mountains and hike and have alone time. I did do that. I took great hikes that were beautiful and challenging and all renewing to my soul. But even more was the intense worship and prayer and the challenging and convicting words spoken on compassion and dying to yourself.
I had never heard that compassion in greek means "the womb." I had already had this ongoing theme in my head about labor pains...feeling that something beautiful will be birthed out of this pain that I have been going through over the past several months. And this word about compassion came to the core of my being and changed me. There is so much more to process.


I also feel a renewed hope for the state of our world. The chinese character for crisis is danger and opportunity. We have a lot of dangerous stuff going on around us, but there is also great opportunity. It is in times like these that small things with great love make a difference...when we teach our children to love...when a folks can come together and practice sustainable gardening in the middle of the ghetto...when using your creativity to come up with alternative means of health care or kingdom economics or finding an end to this war in a way that humanizes rather than dehumanizes. It is times like these where we can hold on to hope because we know we are not alone in this journey.
Like I said...a lot to process. May we experience the Lord's Shalom on earth as it is in heaven.

(this is a picture of our prayers being burned at the end of our time there)

3 Comments:

At 12:59 PM, OpenID bottomland said...

Oh, wow, Lara, what a beautiful post! I too know what you mean about becoming skeptical about those mountain top experiences, and I really feel like I have come home spiritually recently in this little Mennonite church we've begun to attend, which has such a pure and gentle spirit of expectancy, healing and renewal. I do believe that something very powerful and real is being birthed in you through all of this. I do not believe that God's "sovereignty" means that things happen SO THAT God can teach us a lesson, but I do believe that God's grace redeems even the most painful of times. I too am in a gestation period, and I think what is trying to be born is my deep, true self that I was created to be. I don't mean to sound over-dramatic, but I do feel that way. Keep faith in the journey, friend!

And you certainly had me singing! :)

 
At 5:47 AM, Blogger lara said...

that is not dramatic caren, it is profound and very true. love.

 
At 4:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved your pictures and testimoney about Shrine Mont. Hope Dad sent you Dr. Reed's statement about that Holy place. Have you been on the web site? Mom

 

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