What I Learned at Yosemite Summit


By Brent Peak, Summiteer 2009

I suppose it’s time to start sharing what I experienced at the Yosemite Summit last year. The point of the Summit was for us children’s pastors (8 of us, plus our leader, Karl Bastian) to resign from our jobs for a week and reconnect with God. I knew I needed this, but I didn’t realize how much so until I got there. The beauty of Yosemite National Park is amazing. Words and pictures just don’t do it justice. To be so close to God through nature was an amazing opportunity.

It was refreshing to be with eight other guys who cared about the same things I did, but also had the same struggles as well. I received tremendous insight from hearing Karl talk about his experiences and struggles in ministry and family. He gave us a challenge on the first full day of hiking to think about who we are, apart from being a children’s pastor. I had never tried to define myself like that, but I’m glad I did that day.  Here’s what I realized:

I am a child of God who brings joy to him, regardless of my performance or behavior.

That was such a liberating realization!  I cried when I first voiced that sentence to myself.  As I thought about my relationship with my own children, I realized that there was nothing they could do to make me stop loving them.  I can only assume God feels the same about me.  I also thought about how my children’s ability to relate to me increases with their maturity.  I know the same is true between me and God.  I felt like a literal child before God–something I’d never really experienced before–eager to know and enjoy him better.  It felt great to not be a children’s pastor that day.  The guy with all the answers for the kids.  The guy who felt the pressure to perform for God, church leaders, parents, and kids.  They guy who had let God and others down.  For a few days in Yosemite I wasn’t any of that.  I was just a child of God enjoying his creation, trying to enjoy him as much as I hoped he enjoyed me.

Re-posted with permission from brentpeak.com

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