Friday, January 19, 2007

The Mountain

How many times do I have to climb up the mountain for a few distinct moments in the crisp air only to tumble down to the earth again?

We just concluded our Spiritual Emphasis Week here at the WU and after 6 Summit services in 3 days, the mountain top is on my mind. I can't say that I was spiritually challenged by the speakers in new and profound ways (though they were anointed men of God who certainly proclaimed the Word), rather it was through the worship that conviction came into play. I had the amazing blessing to help lead the worship time with 9 of the greatest musicians on campus. For one week, my nights were consumed with practices and fellowship with these friends. Then, when Monday rolled around, we stood in front of the IWU student body and led them in worship of our Almighty Lord. After I lead worship, I am emotionally, physically, and spiritually drained. You would think that after singing praises to the Lord that at least spiritually I would be energized. But leading worship is like taking all your energy and giving it to the people in the congregation, leaving you with none.

Let's just say that by the end of our Summit services, I was left feeling exhausted. After the last service all I wanted to do was process and contemplate what had taken place. But I couldn't, life had to go on. Homework and meetings were waiting and the week wasn't over.

So what does any of this have to do with the mountain top experience? Absolutely nothing. That's kinda the point. I don't think we place enough stock in the valleys or the simple plains that lie between the peaks. We look to weeks like this one for a spiritual pep rally but don't realize that the "game" never ends. I didn't get any spiritual high from this, my last Summit at IWU and I wouldn't have it any other way. Through this week, the Lord grabbed a hold of me, pointed out some very evident weaknesses in my life and has begun to shape me out of those. He has taught me what it means to be selfless and giving in a ministerial setting and helped me realize why exactly He has blessed me with these musical abilities (well, we're still feeling that one out a bit). He did all of this not through a great speaker calling out challenges or corporate times of raising hands and singing. He did it in practices. He did it in my 5 minutes of down time each day. He did it through the tears I shed, thinking that there was no way I'd get through the exhausting week in one piece. He did it in the valleys and plains. I've been more challenege in this Summit week than any other I've experience at school. God can reach us just as easy in the plains as the mountains. And when we let Him, even the plains seem like they are touching the sky.

"We are not made for the mountains, for sunrises, or for the other beautiful attractions in life- those are simply intended to be moments of inspiration. We are made for the valley and the ordinary things of life, and that is where we have to prove our stamina and strength." -Oswald Chambers