A Reflection on The Hike
A hush-hush word on campus.
A “you can ask, but we won’t tell” policy.
Needless to say, I was anxious to see all that The Hike entailed as I bounded down the stairs of my dorm at 8:13 a.m. on Wednesday. We ate together as breakout groups and went over instructions for The Hike. Then it was off to chapel and a cook-out lunch. Each break-out group ate together again, and adopted a theme. My group, Group Q, chose an animal theme. With a team cheer created, zebra-striped bandannas distributed, and “The Lion King” soundtrack playing, we were off. We were about to start… The Hike.
The Hike, itself – exploring campus with clues and questions – was interesting. Two people in my group demonstrated their leadership skills and the rest of us demonstrated our following abilities. At one point, my sweet friend and I were so lost in conversation that we got separated from the group, but quickly recovered and made our way back with a laugh. And while I didn’t really answer any clues or lead the group, following wasn’t all that bad. I went to places on campus I had yet to go, and got some needed exercise (which would hopefully help burn off the pizza I would eat later for dinner).
Then, it was time for the much-anticipated race. My group decided that I should be the captain of our ship. With my courage high, but my confidence lacking, the shot sounded and my group pushed me into the water.
We sank in five seconds.
The second round came, and we had higher hopes. But alas, I sunk again. This time, my oar broke, so I sat stagnant, sinking in the water.
After the races, we got to enjoy pizza and music. It hit the spot after a long day. On my way back to my dorm, I reflected on the day’s events. While we didn’t win the race – in fact we lost miserably – I really enjoyed myself. And I couldn’t help but think about the story of Peter sinking in the water in Matthew 14.
The disciples are out on their boat and they see a figure walking toward them on the water. They thought it was a ghost, but Jesus called out to them. Peter said, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” (v. 28) We all know what happens next: Peter gets out of the boat, and starts walking ON THE WATER to Jesus. But when the waves and wind come, Peter gets scared, and starts to sink.
I feel like that a lot of times, too. I get out of the boat, and I have my eyes set on Jesus, but hard things hit. Distractions come my way. And I lose sight of the ultimate goal: Jesus. Sometimes my oar breaks and I’m stuck and can’t go anywhere. I feel lost, adrift at sea and I don’t know how to move forward. Sometimes the waves are crashing and the wind is blowing. But Jesus whispers the words “don’t be afraid.”
The Hike is an initiation into the Lancer family. It is the “starting point” of our college futures. Many go to college to get a degree and start their future. But our mission as Christians involves more – we want to make Christ preeminent. Distractions and challenges will come, and we will be tempted to look away from Him. I know that my broken oar and flimsy cardboard won’t make it on its own. I know that at times, I will start sinking, and the waves will come crashing. But through it all, I want to keep my eyes on Him. Because if I do, I can walk on water, too.
By Brenna Garner, a freshman from Bristol, Ind., majoring in accounting and international business