Life on the Mountain Top…

I just got back from one of the most wonderful weeks I have had in a very long time.  For the first time in my life, I was a camper at a church camp.  Actually I was a counselor, but I had never been to any sort of camp before, much less a church camp.  My friend Andy (director of Wesley Acres) called me up and asked me to serve as a counselor at the Waves of Fun North camp in North Dakota.  So I rolled into camp last week with high hopes and no expectations to work with three adults I had never met in my life, and minister to fifteen middle school students who had no idea who I was.  Sounds like an EPICALLY good time right?  It was…and more.

We canoed, swam, kayaked.  We worshiped, sang, fellowshipped.  We goofed off, pulled pranks, and caused a little trouble.  We hugged, connected, and cried.  I have been working with students and youth for the vast majority of my adult life, and I have rarely experienced anything like camp this past week.  It was an emotional, social, and spiritual mountain top experience, and when I had to come home today, I tumbled down hardcore.  I am a sap.  As I have grown in my faith, it seems that I have grown more emotional, and the five-hour drive back from Wesley Acres offered me way more time than I wanted to reflect on how much going back to the real world sucks.  I thought about my three co-counselors and how amazing it was to work with and learn from them.  I thought about all of the unreal youth I got to play with (because I will never ever tell you that what I did at camp was work).  I thought about the deep discussions.  I thought about the crazy jokes.  I thought about the hugs.  I thought about all of the love I saw shared among campers, counselors and staff.  And as I drove home today and wished that it never had to end, I realized that I can’t live on the mountain top.

You see, the mountain top is a pinnacle.  It is a high point in one’s life, and much like a drug, if you stay high for too long, you build up a tolerance and need a “higher high” to get the same effect.  But that is really one a very small part of why it is impossible to live on the mountain top I think.  I think that those mountain top experiences are meant to give us glimpses of what heaven could be like.  Matthew 17 and Mark and Luke 9 all refer to the Transfiguration of Jesus.  In those gospels, Jesus takes several of his disciples with him to the top of a mountain where he visits with the deceased Moses and Elijah.  The experience is so powerful and amazing that the disciples do not want to return.  They want to build tents for the three big guys and hang out for a while, but Jesus instructed them to go down the mountain.

In the same way the disciples had to come back down, so do we.  We hate it, just like they did.  It bums us out.  We get depressed, but in the end it is necessary for a couple of reasons.  First of all, I don’t think we deserve to live on the mountain top yet.  We are a fallen people.  We are sinners.  In my opinion, those mountain top experiences are gifts from God to help encourage us in our walk through this fallen world.  He uses them to help keep us going, or to help move us past roadblocks in our spiritual lives.  Second, when Jesus sent his disciples back down the mountain, he gave them specific instructions not to tell anyone until He had risen again.  He didn’t tell them NOT to share…He just said to wait a bit.  I think God wants us to share our mountain top experiences with others.  He wants us to use those encouraging times to help encourage others, and if we stay at the top, we miss the people who need that encouragement the most.

Our final topic of study at camp was on John 15 and Jesus’ ultimate command.  We talked through how all Jesus really wants is to be our friends.  And all we have to do to be His friend, is to follow his command(s).  “Love each other.”  And as I drove home today, back to the real world, I realized that it is kind of hard to love the people who need it the most if you are camped out on the mountain top.  Jesus doesn’t want us to live on the mountain top because He needs us to be spreading the Love in the valleys and plains.  We are, after all, His hands and feet.

If Jesus can come to Earth from Heaven, live with us and die for us, the least we can do is come down from the mountain and share the gifts we have been given.  Are you trying to live on the mountain top?  Or are you bringing the Good News back down to share with the rest of God’s children?

May your mountain top experiences prove as amazing and fruitful as mine.

Jason

One Love
One God
One Way

For more information on Wesley Acres Camp and Retreat Center click the link or check them out on Facebook.

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~ by archangel66 on July 15, 2011.

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