The road that leads to Twin Lakes is a long and winding mountain pass. Escalade, the car we are using to go up the mountain, slowly gains in altitude as she pulls her six, increasingly anxious passengers to ever more dizzying heights. What once seemed like massive pines, Goliaths among trees, have now blended into a single mass; a swirling sea of green that even Van Gogh could never replicate. The road is narrow, and our creaking vehicle lumbers on like a drunken tightrope walker. Matt, at the wheel, moves forward as if Philippians 1:21 is his favorite Bible verse. I glance behind me. The mood shifts from Matt’s invincible nature, to concern in the middle seats, to a deep terror in the back. The music shifts to the chorus coming out of the car radio.

Country Roads, Take me Home!

To the place, I belong!”

Eva and Fleur have their fists clenched, heads down, white-knuckled. I can’t help but smile at the irony in John Denver’s lyrics as we are all fervently praying that this road will not take us Home just yet!

God did indeed still have plans for us, however, because at the end of that pass lay life, not death. Twin lakes, a small plateau holding pools of still, crystal water, acts as a refuge amongst the mighty peaks of Larabee and Tomyhoi. As we step out of Escalade, our laughter dies away as we are filled with wonder at the peaceful scene- and by the cold as well! The temperature had dropped a whole 30 degrees. No, we are not prepared for this!

As I’m tying my hammock to a tree, my mind drifts into thoughts about the last few weeks of lecture. If I’m being honest, I’m tired. I’m exhausted by the weight of the need I feel to discern every possible aspect of what I’m taught, filtering out Truth, falsehood, and the things in which I need to seek out answers. Weighing more heavily than anything else is what it means to hear God’s voice. Am I living under His Word, or am I living my Christian life under the shadow of his silence? Am I missing something? As I’m thinking all of this, my classmate Andy walks up out of the fog. He ends up teaching me how to tie a Sheet Bend knot for my hammock and we continue on with our silence and solitude.

After awhile it starts raining. What started as a slow drizzle becomes heavy sheets of bone-chilling water. But, high up in the clouds, in a tent, sit six friends around a lantern. Six friends brought together by their pursuit of God’s voice playing a game of Hearts in a world that God breathed into existence. Roars of laughter break into the night as Eva wins yet another trio of hearts. I’m suddenly struck by the beauty of fellowship. My friends and I would be walking side by side for some time yet. Our growth would be defined by challenging one another, by listening to one another, by telling each other to Come and see. The Lord walks with us faithfully, and thankfully we don’t need to always walk with Him on our own. He sends us people to walk with us on the journey.

Yet nothing lasts forever, as they say. I know that as time moves forward, so will our lives. As DTS winds down to its end, the distance between us would multiply. We would be separated by oceans and borders, by our experiences and the Lord’s will for our lives. Yet in this sadness, I’m reminded of the mountains of the eternal creator. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.(Isaiah 40:8) In the shadow of his wings I see a world where no good ever fades, where friendships are renewed, and where the light of God chases away all evil and darkness.

In the shadows of the mountains, I believe the Lord speaks to me.

“I’m with you.” 

Lord, when you will it, do take me HomeTo the place, I belong.


Written by Jack Billington