“He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him”
I’ll spare you the unpleasant details, but the last three semesters at USAFA were pretty much just an angst-filled blur for me. I was distressed, deeply unsettled, unfocused, and struggling with the concepts of a good God in a broken world. I possessed a deep arrogance, sassyness, and clingy bitterness that I directed at an unspecified but religiously themed culprit.
With OCF cadets and staff I saw and experienced, for the first time I could have remembered and recognized, what it means to be Jesus’ “hands and feet.” External conformity is one thing; new life in Christ is quite another. Growing up I saw the former, as a result of involvement in OCF (at the invite of a cadet friend) I saw—with eyes wide open—the latter.
Spring Canyon has a very special place in my heart. It was at Spring Canyon where some of these crucial, formative conversations took place. It was at Spring Canyon where I was fully and deeply loved despite my prickly and argumentative exterior (shout out to Artha Stokka here). It was at Spring Canyon where people who recognized (more so than I recognized at the time) my vulnerability and deep need for prayer laid hands on me and prayed. And it was at Spring Canyon (the deck on the second floor of Hartley Holmes, actually) where I finally broke free. No, let me rephrase that—where God lifted me, indelibly, “out of the mud and mire.”
I, quite literally, thank God for OCF and Spring Canyon. It sounds cliche, but I honestly don’t know where I’d be without both. Still in the Hands of the Potter, I suppose, but I recon the path Home would have been much more rocky without such intervention. I’m praying that others would have in Spring Canyon what I had, and needed: a safe place to land, to experience real (not superficial/imposter) fellowship, and to meet our Living God. Because that “new song” is awesome.