Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Take the Plunge!

Plunge To Do List:
Wake up at 5am & pick up Mar, Logan, and Emily
Drink Red Bull
Drive 7.5 hours to Windy Gap
Unpack and repack way too little into a hiking backpack
Hike 4 miles up
Enjoy a week of peace, rest, work, love, and vulnerability in His presence!
There's something different that happens at Pioneer Plunge.  It happens sometime between leaving your deodorant at the bottom before hiking up and then trying to resist turning your phone back on after hiking back down.  Distractions are stripped away and leaders/campers are challenged to be vulnerable from the start.

Pioneer Plunge is a sacred place where God breaks barriers and pursues hearts.  While Christ is running hard after us daily, sometimes you have to be in desolation before you see it.  About halfway through the week leaders and campers are spaced out on the mountain with their packs, a hammock, and a tarp for 24 hours.  I did this the first time after my sophomore year of college and had high hopes for how Christ would move this time.  Rain had been a constant thing from the start of the week and it broke for a few hours as we headed out to our spots.  I set up my tarp and hammock and got comfy in my sleeping bag with a book Val had given me.  At this point, I think it was around noon, the rain started... and it kept going.  The overcast sky hid the actual time and it seemed as though the rain would last forever.  As water started rolling down the sides of my hammock my prayers for the rain to stop turned to angry demands.  I couldn't believe that this sacred time was being ruined by such a downpour.  After reaching the point of tears and disbelief multiple times, one of the guides poked her head through the trees.  THANK GOD!  As we talked about bringing the girls in off the mountain relief and disappointment flooded over me simultaneously.

The next morning, as we all compared war stories of our solos, one of the Plunge Guides read the story from Luke about Jesus healing the invalid man at the pool.  This man had been in desolation for 38 years when Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." (John 5:8)  The drastic transition from invalid to healed and desolation to consolation is a beautiful picture of the Gospel.  The Lord acts this out in our lives daily... almost always in ways we would never expect.