spiritual formation in the mountains

The summer is beginning to threaten its end, and I think my heart has found a way to mourn without telling me about it. That I wouldn’t notice until the sadness comes… that’s not unusual for me, I think. Today I walked through the dirt past Laundry and stared up at Mt. Ypsilon, thick and permanent on this backdrop. I’ll miss it when I leave.

My heart has been with my students here. Most are tired now, full with a summer that for them has been cleaning, conflict, mornings, trust, patience. Many probably had hoped for greater revelation or stronger hope. Only a few already see that what they got in patient endurance was worth the labor, God himself living in the toughest moments.


John Drage says that he’s still not sure how LT works. The economist in me agrees. The entire idea is that we “set the conditions for growth.” We couldn’t compel it to happen.

And so it’s true that a few of my student will walk away from the summer feeling no change. Wondering why they came out, frustrated there was only an empty promise of spiritual growth: certain that the eleven speakers were a disappointment, their project groups weren’t organized, their dorms noisy, and their bank accounts smaller than they had imagined. The saddest part isn’t for me that they didn’t like what we set, but that they never understood it in the first place.

I can only hope that Mt. Ypsilon draws them out here again, maybe a second chance at finding God in mountains.