Mountaintop experience

After a long, hot afternoon filled with anxious waiting, we are ready. We have our spot picked out on the big hill in front of the stage. Our blanket spread out on the grass is barely big enough to fit us all.

I spent two days stuffed in a car with college guys to get to Agape Farm somewhere in Pennsylvania for Creation Festival. We have been excited about this for weeks. This was all Travis’s idea, and Derek and I are glad he came up with it. Four days filled with Christian music is a little bit of heaven to my 19 year old brain.

The sun is setting and stage lights are going crazy. It’s time for music, and we leap to our feet. We dance and sway for hours to the music that echoes over the mountainside.

Travis, me, and Derek - summer of '98

The final show of the evening is Supertones, a ska band. I am not a huge fan of ska, but I’m having such a good time that I can’t imagine leaving yet. They begin their show with their usual up beat songs, filled with horns and catchy rhythms. We are all up and dancing on our blanket, partly to keep warm from the sudden temperature drop.

All of a sudden, the music stops and there is quiet as the lead singer walks out onto stage with acoustic guitar in hand. He begins to softly sing Shout to the Lord and invites us to join him. With my eyes closed tight, my hands tentatively reach up. He asks us to kneel with him. I drop to the dirt and can feel the wetness of the accumulating dew slowly seep through my jeans. With eyes still closed, he leads us in prayer. I feel something stirring inside me, and something like butterflies fills my stomach. Tears begin to prick my eyes. I give into them and soon full teardrops are falling down my cheek. Crying harder, my hands lift higher to the sky. This God that has been gradually inching closer to me feels closer than ever. I utter out a silent prayer of thanksgiving and awe.

Ah, the mountaintop experience. For me, my first one was literally almost on a mountaintop.

Sometimes I look back on little ol’ college me, and think, “Now naive and innocent I was… I didn’t have a clue.” And other times I look back and wish it could still be that simple. I wish I wasn’t as cynical as I am now, and I wish that the simplistic Christian music that now makes me roll my eyes still stirred my soul.

I have to remember that there are different seasons in my faith life. Back in the college days, I was a baby Christian. I needed the warm fuzzies and the mountaintop experiences. I needed to feel that closeness to God. That summer road trip was awesome, and I’m thankful that I had the experience. God spoke to me loudly that whole week.

Now, I’m (supposedly) a more mature Christian. While I know God will still offer moments of inspiration to me, I’m not going to have tons of mountaintop experiences anymore. Worship music may not make me drop to my knees like it used to. God’s going to reach out to me in other ways.

  • Trying experiences that build character and deepen my faith.
  • Showing me there is so much more depth to Him than I ever realized.
  • Giving me more opportunities to serve others.

I need to find other ways than kneeling in the dirt to reach out to Him. I’m still stumbling around trying to figure out what those ways are, but I know He’s patient with me. It’s all part of this faith thing.

4 Replies to “Mountaintop experience”

  1. Hey, that’s me!

    You know, for all the hackneyed tripe that comes along in CCM these days, you gotta love these bands in concert. There are a lot of them that will stop the show and make it clear that there are more important things than giving you a good time. I may be pretty cynical as well, but I can’t be cynical about people telling people about Jesus, or about reminding people at a rock show that God is still glorified. Assuming of course that the “rock show” isn’t actually supposed to be a church service.

    But if I ever have to sing Shout to the Lord again, I *will* have to hurt someone.

    1. Very well put, Derek. I have to remember that although there are sadly some Christian musicians that are likely just in it for the fame, there are many whose heart really is in the right place. Thanks for that reminder.

      And I agree about Shout to the Lord. And many other worship songs. 🙂

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