At the beginning of the camp week, Randy Sims compared the Christian life to a black diamond. Often, Christians settle for bunny slopes because these hills are comfortable and fun. Christ calls believers to edge their ski tips off the cliff of the black diamond run, swallow their fears, and live consistently with the gospel. It’s frightening and it’s counter-cultural but pursuing truth and knowing Christ is worth any hazard to life.
“When you get to the base of the black diamond and you enter the ski lodge," Randy told students, "you aren’t feeling like you did so hot. You stagger inside. There is a branch sticking out of the side of your head, and you are staring through two slits because your eyes are blacked and blue. Your nose is there, but what is odd is that it’s over here visiting your ear. You hear someone clapping and saying, ‘Great run. Great run!’ Through the crowd, you look and you see your ski instructor. And then you realize that he was with you on the mountain. He was the one pushing you on and picking you up when you fell.
“For the Christian who runs the black diamond in life, they will hear six beautiful words from our savior. ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’ Run the black diamond,” Randy said, before closing in prayer and dismissing the students for time with their small groups on th first night of camp.
Since Sunday night, students have sat in over 24 hours of lectures and completed leadership and evangelism practicums. They have flexed their mental muscles this week and proven their character.
Some of the biggest lessons students learned were taught inside the lecture hall.
"I really liked when Josh [Fairbaugh] talked about movies and how we shut our brains off," Mitchell S. said last night at Campfire. "That's what I do. I watch for entertainment. I had always heard that the media was using movies to teach people and to put ideas into the culture, but I didn't see that until this week."
Other lessons were taught in small group or during the Evangelism Practicum on Wednesday afternoon at Boise State.
"I came away knowing that I can't bring people to Christ," Josiah R. said. "The Holy Spirit does that. He works through me. This week is tied with last year at Worldview for the best week of my life."
Yet, the studnets' black diamond run hasn’t begun. This week wasn’t a black diamond; this week was the chairlift up the face of the black diamond. They only saw an overview of what is to come. Camp begins tomorrow when they go home and apply what they have learned at camp. The black diamond run begins Friday night as they fall asleep in their own bed and position their skis down the mountain.
"My daughter came back from camp last year and was so excited about having a quiet time," Mrs. Breaux said on Sunday. "She kept it up all year long. I honestly thought that Worldview would just be a phase for her, an emotional high. It wasn't. All through the year, Worldview just kept coming up. She would flip through her notebook and bring up stuff from lectures all the time."
Faculty and staff pray that students enjoy this black diamond challenge but take it on freely. In one sense, they should strive for God’s approval and live the black diamond. Strive to hear at the end of your run your ski instructor telling you “Great run!” Strive to hear God’s words, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
In another sense, realize that you already have his pleasure. His delight is in you. Therefore, live freely by the grace of God manifested in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. You don’t have to take on the black diamond. You don’t have to live a radical life distinguished by your passion for the gospel. You get to by the grace of God. Therefore, live accordingly.
Last night in lecture, Randy ended the week as he began it: with a video of black diamond skiers. “Camp ends tomorrow, and you are going to go home. Tomorrow morning, your parents are going to be in here and there will be a lot more chairs in here. This is the last time that it is just us in the meeting rom. This week, we have done some hard things. We have thought some hard thoughts. And we have run a black diamond. And it’s been difficult. But has it not been exciting? Exhilarating? This is the person that you want to be. This is how you want to live your life.”
Go now and do it.