God in Nature

It’s Quite Simple: Kelsey’s story.

I went into this past summer knowing the goodness of God’s creativity. I believed those words, but I know now that I didn’t understand them yet. I know now that God had an idea of what the summer would be like for me that I could not even fathom if I tried. My job was as a backpacking guide at a Christian summer camp in Colorado in Rocky Mountain National Park. Every week for six weeks, I had the privilege of going out onto a trail with fifty pounds of everything I needed on my back, with a nervously inexperienced, but passionately excited male co-guide, and with ten energetic, wild teenagers. These six weeks can be summed up as the most difficult, most exciting, most restful, most tiring, best weeks of my life with all the credit for that to God. He works in ways that I’ll never understand, but I know each of those extremes was His was of teaching me something and revealing himself to me.

Looking back on this summer is something I love to do with joy in my heart because it brings me a great deal of peace. Each week was new and exciting and each person I got to know provided a beautiful new perspective to my life. As the weeks went on, I felt as though the experiences were piling on top of each other. I felt like there was some climax I was reaching towards and the summer was building towards, but I didn’t know what. I felt closer to God than ever before. That was new and was something I wasn’t used to experiencing so clearly. This new found closeness was a high. I had heard of people craving their quiet time with God and I had heard of a desire to be in the word or in prayer constantly, but I never really knew what it was like. It had always felt like more of an enjoyable task I needed to do, but didn’t crave. This summer certainly changed that for me. This craving escalated the feeling of an oncoming climax, because I knew this desire must have been leading to something amazing.

I finally reached my last week on trail with such bitterness and such sweetness within my heart. I couldn’t help but be sad that the experience was truly nearing the end and all of the experiences would soon be memories. I was sad to leave the memories behind and the people that made those memories so good. I also couldn’t help but to have feelings of such thanksgiving and joy for the experience. With full emotions, we were sent out into the wilderness for the last time that summer trying to remember to soak up each and every moment of the trip, living fully in the present and presence of God. I know that I did my best to keep that attitude the whole trip even though it was easy to find myself worried about the future or enjoying the memories of the past. The last sunrise hike was the highest roller coaster of emotions. First, because sunrises and sunsets are something that proves to me every single day that God is real. They are my very favorite things he created besides people and they never cease to amaze me. Second, the hike to the ridge and time spent watching the sunrise is so valuable, because it allows room for significant thought and reflection. This last sunrise hike morning was a gift from God and his presence was so clear. I simply thought about the vastness of the summer for my personal growth as I sat in awe of the vastness of the mountains far in every direction and the blue, pink, orange, and purple colors of the sky. God was there. God was with me. God gave me a peace I had never felt before and a new perspective of joy. God revealed his simplicity.