My Mount Moriah Moment, Part I

Recently, a friend who works in the cable news industry shared with me that she was celebrating ten years in Washington, DC chasing the dream of being involved in television doing exactly what she’s doing.  While I had heard pieces of this story before – some of it recounted in Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson – what surprised me was the location that served as as catalyst for this journey:  the shore of Lake Michigan.

As Kimberly tells it, ten years ago she was sitting on a bench along the Wisconsin shore of Lake Michigan wondering what she was to do with her life, what God wanted to do.  She knew she wanted to be in cable news, but unsure of how to make that happen.  The first step for her was to move to Washington, DC with no job, no place to call her own, and little resources with which to accomplish this dream.  A decade later she’s a White House producer for cable news.

As we were discussing this, I focused in on Lake Michigan, where it all began, because I had a similar experience within a year or so of the one she described.   In the years hence, I’ve given to calling it my “Mount Moriah Moment” after the location in Genesis where Abraham had to sacrifice his son Isaac, the one God promised to him and his wife Sarah even though he was well past his prime and she couldn’t have kids.  God has promised Abraham that he would be “a blessing to all the nations” and have “decedents as numerous as the stars in the sky” in Genesis 12 and 15 and that this would all come about through Isaac.  Later, in Genesis 22, Abraham is tested via a command to sacrifice the son that is to be the fulfillment of God’s promise, and the incident takes place on Mount Moriah.  Some of this is beyond my understanding because I’m not a father, I don’t have kids.  Nevertheless, some of it I closely identify with because of an incident almost a decade ago on the “Michigan Side” of Lake Michigan.

I spent the summer of 2005 counseling at Lake Ann Camp in northern Michigan after finishing four years at Cedarville University.  For the previous three summers, and years before that, I wanted to do nothing more with life than to move to Washington, DC and work on Capitol Hill; a story I’ve recounted via video and speaking events for a few years.  Every summer in college I did something that wasn’t “going to Washington, DC to work on Capitol  Hill”: working for a home health company, counseling at camp, and working for the Department of Housing and Urban development in southern Georgia.  While friends from school were off spending their summers in the halls of power and policy, I, well, wasn’t.

Weeks of camp counseling and frequent lightsaber duels – since Revenge of the Sith released that May – rolled from one month to the next, sometimes feeling like they crashed into one another as I would alternate between Jr. and Sr. High camp.  No idea about what would come once summer ended and no responses from the applications sent to think tanks and other organizations in Washington.  All I had was some tried and true wisdom from a someone wiser and further along who worked for Bush ’41 when he was Vice President during the Regan years: “target the fall semester, there is less competition then”.

As the traditional 10 weeks of camp came to a close I was no closer to answer and with no place to go, so I stayed.  As friends were gearing up to leave for the summer, I was just moving my belongings to another part of camp for a few days to help facilitate a five day apologetics event.  After I had just endured what is still, arguably, the best and most intense summer of my life, what spectacular thing(s) were left to happen?  I’d just go home in a few days and figure out life from there, right?

 In these days before I thought I’d have to go home and really start growing up – truthfully, a decade later I still haven’t – I found myself sitting on a rock on the sandy shore of Lake Michigan listening to the waves.  The final program for the summer – geared towards high school upperclassmen and college freshmen – scheduled time to spend in solitude and that meant counselors too.  As I sat listening to the waves, my Bible and a book on the Founders beside me, I was in crisis…

Stay tuned for the next episode *said in imagined “movie trailer voice-over” voice*

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Aaron

About Aaron

Author, Speaker, and Super Nerd. Aaron Welty speaks and writes regularly connecting the dots of life, faith, and science fiction. Originally from Michigan, he now lives and works in the Washington, D.C. Metro area.

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