Team Member Spotlight - Maddy Kertzmann

Friday, September 01, 2017

SONrise Hike

Maddy Kertzmann

I remember hearing the dreaded sound of my alarm at 4:30 in the morning. I groggily looked out the window seeing nothing but darkness. I grudgingly slung one foot out of the comfort of my blankets and was met with chilly morning air from keeping my window open and just like that I decided that I would skip out on the sunrise hike I’d wanted to go on. It appeared that my warm comfy bed had won again! However, I somehow mustered the will to climb out of bed because the next thing I knew I was in my car driving to the trailhead. 

Even on the way there, I was talking myself out of going. “It’s cold, dark, and I’m all alone,” “Maybe I shouldn't hike up this mountain by myself in the dark,” “What if I get attacked by a mountain lion?” Despite the internal battle that I had going on, I prayed to God that he would get me to the top of the mountain regardless of all the things making me reluctant to go, and that is exactly what he did! 

So there I was sitting and waiting for an epic sunrise because why else would God have dragged me out of bed and gave me such an inexplicable pull to the top of this mountain? I felt so confident that God was going to bless me with the gift of a glorious sunrise that when grey skies replaced the breathtaking moment I was waiting for, I became slightly confused and upset. In fact, in my journal I wrote, “God, I’m so blessed to be sitting here breathing in the mountain air and witnessing a lovely morning, however, I thought we had an understanding and a deal about you blessing me with a sunrise! I had faith in you! I’m a little bitter!” 

When all of the sudden my writing was interrupted by a group of hikers who stumbled into the area I was sitting and were trying to take pictures. They noticed that my bible was out and asked me if I had any spiritual insight for them. I quickly grabbed my devotional book that I even debated bringing with me in the first place and read them the devotional for that day. Afterwards, we discussed the words I had just read, and shared different struggles we were having. I admitted to them that this summer I struggled with prayer because I lacked faith in God answering them. 

It hit me how awesome of a moment I was in. I was up on a mountain top at 6:30 in the morning discussing with a group of people I’d never met before about the Jesus, the coolest guy ever! A few day later, I received a note that the group had left me at the front desk. They let me know how much they appreciated the discussion I led and told me to continue doing good work and shining my light. They even gave me their email so I could inquire about books they have about faith. I realize now that whole experience was the reason Jesus called me to that mountain top, and it was certainly way better than any sunrise I could have witnessed. 

"The opportunity to minister to persons that I would never encounter in my circle at home was rich."
– Sharon, Perkins School of Theology 2002

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