By Margaret Lopez, HSE Student in 2012
Well, I totally thought I was just going to go out and conquer this mountain. I have been camping all of my life and I knew most of my classmates had nothing on me. So I took my ego and packed it in my huuuge backpack and even though I was in the school of E, I didn’t forget to bring my smug attitude. First, I just walked and was a little irritated that everyone seemed to being doing so well. People were talking and laughing and praying and singing….I was just trudging my way up the mountain…me and my attitude. Wasn’t God supposed to change me or something during this trip…I was waiting.
As we had to eat with dirty hands and supposedly clean hearts, I knew my hands and heart were both dirty. I began to realize that I was sooo far from the normal, happy, smiley faced Christian I thought I was! At the end of the night I was in devotional time with my classmates and I still had that chip on my shoulder. I ended up sleeping in a tent with someone I hardly knew and hating the process of being under someone else’s authority other than my own.
Day two, the Lord began to show me that I was an angry person. Everyone thought I was nice and happy but on the inside God knew who I really was and it was hard keeping up the front. At the beginning of the hill, I began to cry just as everyone began their ascent up a new mountain. One of the leaders came near me as she was walking and tried to say hi but I bitterly told her to please just go ahead of me and leave me be. What she didn’t know is behind my sunglasses I had tears streaming down my face because the mountain I was facing was not the one in front of me but the one within me. I began to pray to the Lord and tell my God that I was going to make it up the hill. Me, Margaret …I could do it because I said it and God would just bless me as I did. I prayed in my own strength and believed God was going to take orders from me…all the while saying I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me-
At about mile five or six…after a very long day of hiking and watching others go through their own personal struggles, God proved to me He was the boss and not me. I lost my footing on the same incline that about 5 other people slid down without injury, and I really got hurt. I ended up having to lean on one of my classmates for the rest of the way back to camp. I found out she was wonderful and kind and Oh man, had I been missing the point. I was supposed to be making this kind of connection with others the whole time but I was too self-consumed to even understand. God had to humble me before I would listen. It wasn’t about me being in control of my surroundings or life; it was about God being in control of me.
By the next morning my leg had swollen up pretty big and I needed to go back to San Diego to get medical treatment. Truly, the experience I had being knocked down from my own pedestal was quite humbling. When everyone came back on Friday, I was invited to come to the reception party. It was beautiful to see how everyone was so filled with the Spirit and as I hobbled in on my crutches and with my leg immobilizer, feeling out of place, they embraced me. I was so overwhelmed with how God’s family didn’t exclude me as a broken person but loved on me after their own personal journeys. During the foot washing ceremony, they washed my feet too and I finally got it. God humbled me to teach me that it was not my will but His, He was in charge and not me- that was the mountain God wanted me to climb.