Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Moments of Conversion: the forgotten episode

Wilderness Trek

This morning I was sitting in the dungeon (basement) working on my thesis for a paper that is now due in less than 12 hours when a song came on my iTunes that I had not heard in several years. This song took me back to a week at the end of July 2001. It was the summer between jr. and sr. high school. So this week in July I had fought tooth and nail for. It was a backpacking expedition headquartered in Salida, CO. A Christian organization and my youth group was giving it a try. My family was against me going off and doing this thing. I was determined to raise all my own money so they wouldn't have any right (when does a parent of a 15 year old not have any "right" to say what the child can and cannot do?) to tell me I couldn't go. So anyway, I fought and went. This was probably the darkest most down and miserable I have ever been. Call it depression or whatever you want but I was bad. I had friends getting me into things I didn't need to be into and the works. So when we got to Salida and breathed in the mountain air, slept by the stream, picked up our packs and set ourselves determined to summit in the course of a few days I was really hopeful that God would speak into the desolateness of my heart and mind.
We couldn't take along cd players which was torture for me. Absolute torture. I was the youngest one on the trip and one of only four women. I was not in perfect shape. I was small and my pack was heavy. The mountain was substantial and more defined elevation gain valley to peak then even Elbert (so I was told). We set out to climb Mt. Arkansas near Leadville, Co.
A song was in my mind the whole time I was climbing. It was a great encouragement as well as a bit annoying. Why was it this song? The day before the summit climb we spent half the day in total solitude. Some spent it praying, some reading scripture, some resting, some walking through nature, I wrote out the words to the song and cried out to God from my dark situation and asked why.
As I was talking with someone today I realized that I am still asking why. There is so much I don't know. But I am not content sitting around waiting for the answers. I don't think they are as important as the action of trying to correct the mess we have made. I want to be contemplative and patient. I want to wait on God. But my heart breaks because there are concrete steps we can take to make life better for someone all the time. Why the suffering? Why the despair? Lord I want to be content spending half my day crying out to you on behalf of the oppressed and the other half actively fighting for their liberation.
The trek was awesome. Shortly after we summited at 13, 795' and signed the register a cloud rolled over and we had to skri down before the storm hit. Just after we made it back to high camp we turned to see a rainbow over the peak we just hit and were able to actually see both ends of the rainbow. It was beautiful. Then it rained until night. Such an incredible week of climbing. Read on to discover the song that haunted me during this week of heavy spiritual warfare in my life.

"Love Song" Third Day
I've heard it said that a man would climb a mountain
Just to be with the one he loves
How many times has he broken that promise
It has never been done.
I've never climbed the highest mountain
But I walked the hill of Calvary

Just to be with you, I'll do anything
There's no price I would not pay
Just to be with you, I'll give anything
I would give my life away.

I've heard it said that a man would swim the ocean
Just to be with the one he loves
All of those dreams are an empty emotion
It can never be done
I've never swam the deepest ocean
But I walked upon the raging sea

Just to be with you, I'll do anything
There's no price I would not pay
Just to be with you, I'd give everything
I would give my life away.

(Bridge) I know that you don't understand
the fullness of My love
How I died upon the cross for your sins
And I know that you don't realize
how much that I'd give you
But I promise, I would do it all again.

Just to be with you, I've done everything
There's no price I did not pay
Just to be with you, I gave everything
Yes, I gave my life away.

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