Home from Yosemite Summit

Yosemite Summit Guys 2011

This isn’t the “Official” report – I have thousands of photos (and video clips) to sort through and a highlight video to create for that – BUT I wanted to at least let y’all know I made it back alive and we had another great UNconference in Yosemite National Park!

Despite some negative weather forecasts, we had actually perhaps the best weather of all four years – maybe tied with year #1, though that was a bit warm, so I think the best weather of all four years for hiking. That was fantastic!

Just for fun, Pat arrived a day early to help me shop for all the food. Here he is at Costco in Sacramento:

BEFORE:

AFTER:

And that is even before the Super Wal-Mart trip for the stuff Costco doesn’t sell! It takes a lot to feed a lodge full of hungry hikers! (And we eat well!)

Soon we were all gathered and ready to head to Yosemite… all but one Californian who was meeting up with us farther South.

Soon we were off! It was a great four hour drive getting to know each other, and the guys had absolute trust in my driving abilities and attention to all the laws of the road:

(For the record, I AM parked legally, but it’s a great picture snapped
by Scott Dodson before I knew why he asked me to look!)

If you are wondering if the trip was refreshing – this next picture is proof that it is… we DRINK UP YOSEMITE:

Michael Murphy drinking from Bridalveil  Falls

This place is so in-tune with God, it seemed, even the animals were praising God:

Photo by Doug McKinney

I look forward to sharing more about this years Summit after I take some time to pray and reflect and journal and soak in the impact of this fourth time of turning off my busy electronic life for nearly a week and just enjoying some time in God’s Awesome Creation for a few days. Of course, everything back home piled up and now I have some catching up to do! To make matters worse, I got some really serious food poisoning on Sunday which put me on my deathbed all through the Memorial Day weekend so I feel even farther behind than I would have been with the long weekend to unpack and do some catching up before the work week got here – but such is life!

How are YOU like a Water Fall?

While you await the full report, I’ll share one insight with you that was actually shared during the week by one of the guys in our evenings of sharing after a day of hiking. Doug noted that in the path of our life there are a lot of obstacles and problems that get in our way and cause of frustration and disappointment and can irritate us or cause us to have to reroute our path or change our plans when we would rather things go smoothly. But as he was watching these majestic waterfalls come pouring over the cliffs and down the mountainsides and crashing along the river banks – it was actually the rocks and boulders and trees – the OBSTACLES in the waters path that make the waterfall and the river so majestic to watch. Were the waterfall and the path that followed at the bottom smooth it wouldn’t be as spectacular to view. It is actually the obstacles that give the falls and the rivers their character. Interesting – the flaws are what give the character. The same is true with is. Our character is developed through the obstacles in our lives. If God were to give us a smooth life, without problems, bumps and obstacles, what would grow our character?

So the next time you see a big boulder up ahead – instead of being frustrated or complaining – realize God is just forming you into a majestic testimony of his power and grace that other might be able to point to – even snap pictures of – and say, “Wow, there IS a Creator, and doesn’t He create the most Beautiful Things!”

We called this our “Album Cover”

NOTE: All images in this post can be clicked on to view larger.

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