When Clouds Hide the Mountain

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I stepped out of the airport shuttle, laughing with a group of eight other developing leaders. Drifting snowflakes dropped on our heads, piling in our hair and scattering across the now-moist hoods of our coats. Only two hours earlier, we had flown into Denver from across the country, converging to join a group of over thirty young Christians with one thing in common.

A Savior who gives glorious visions.

The Signature Leadership Courses, offered by College Plus, were designed to help people like me understand and achieve their dreams. But on this day, so far away from home and normalcy, clouds obscured my vision, and my dreams seemed as hazy and unattainable as the shrouded mountains surrounding the retreat center. I was not nervous per se, but rather suffering under a vague discomfort—the feeling that I was walking in the company of giants.

And, in that moment of insecurity, I wasn’t sure if I measured up. I sensed uncertainty starting to crust over my fledgling hopes and dreams.

Something had to change.

And it did, on the last day of the Capstone. Most of the snow outside had melted, flowing away between the mountains. At the same time, any lingering uneasiness that I felt around the few classmates I hadn’t yet met melted away as well. We were all letting our true selves show, and becoming comfortable with each other’s truth was a freeing thing.

That last day, we divided into groups of six, with instructions to focus on one group member’s business plan or ministry idea. In every group, five people stepped out of themselves to focus on building up one. Much of my uneasiness was fading, and I was excited to help a team member develop their dream.

But then my world shifted again, because as we settled into a circle of chairs, my team turned to me.

“Let’s work on your idea.”

I do not think there is a more powerful thing in all the world than a group of people who tell you that your dream is exciting and they want to be a part of it.

And so, for an hour, life worked upon life. And at the end, I had so much more than a dream. I had a plan and a team willing to help me.

As a writer, I had always wanted to write something that changes lives. And they told me I could.

Maybe the best day in the life of a writer begins with the realization, “I have a story.” Then, the stories cease being only events that happen to fictional characters inside my head. Suddenly, the art of story merges with the art of living and my writing compulsion becomes much more than the thrill of stringing words together.

There were over thirty of us at the close of the Capstone, almost breathless with awe and on the verge of tears as we stood one by one, voicing the overwhelming impact of this part of the course.

We expected Dr. Myers’ lectures to be life-changing. They certainly were, each of them containing a remarkable nugget of truth that shattered some of the paradigms we had previously accepted without question.

And we expected the real-life practice of coaching and planning to be challenging, yet empowering. Again, we received more than we imagined.

But, towering above every other outcome of the course was the sense of each of us writing a story, engaging in God’s big picture narrative.

We were ready now to change the world.

“Most great moves of God begin in humble rooms with hungry people who believe they are to steward this moment in history.”

-Author Unknown-

~Shelbie

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