It's interesting, how we come to new experiences with completely blank slates. The wonders of what can happen fill our minds as we allow our thoughts to create an ideal situation we dream and even sometimes pray, will take place. Well let me tell ya, camp life, it crushes those dreams. You wake up early, go to bed late, sweat all day, listen, sometimes speak, listen more, maybe speak again, and you guessed it, sweat a ton more. Not to mention, the food can really do ya dirty if you’re not careful… church camps, ahh, how they bring a sense of nostalgia. This I believe is used in the crushing of the dreams. You see, church camp eliminates the fabricated dream by showing you how the real “dream” lies in living into the abundant life of Christ. It takes the grind of camp to de-shield the eyes of our hearts, showing us how dreams are our reality when living the abundant life.
Camp life ushered me into this reality last summer. I was on an amazing adventure with the Summer Ministry Team. This was a team of six college students who traveled to ten different camps (yes you read that right, six college students in a van all summer driving across the country, no real adults because, well, we are the adults now.). We spent the summer serving, listening, being present, vulnerable, honest, and my favorite, being goofy and just plain funny with hundreds of young adults and children. Day after day I woke to the songs the birds sang and night after night I fell asleep to the innocent sounds of laughter and hushed conversations within my cabins.
This to me, resembles the abundant life in Christ. Each day we loved each other, as humans; no judgment, no echelon of power. We purely looked at each other, welcoming the stranger into the community by showing them they are wanted here, listened to and loved here, cared for here, understood here. This dream I had of what it may look like to live in an intentional community, was crushed by the beautiful cacophony of camp. I now see, how this experience was and still is showing me how I was settling for a life that lacked the freedom of our Fathers love. When the noise was so loud and the campers were pulling me, literally and figuratively in many different directions, there was a still, small peace inside my heart that repeatedly reminded me “This Chaos, it is one that is infused in my Love and I am asking you to partake in it”. There was this constant reminder that I am wanted, that we are all wanted at the table. There is a seat for all during the abundant feast. This life, this abundant life that I write about, is one that I so vividly witnessed and what felt like the first time, took my place in last summer.
It is crazy to think that it is time again, for the team to partake in another summer of ministry. So here we are, this year a team of seven, ready to begin our “adventure of seeing how God moves” in the beauty of his abundant Word, Life, and Love. This is the Summer Ministry Team, a team whose mission is to be a mirror of the Creator. This chaos that we are about to partake in, is infused in the father's love and nothing stops him from holding his hand to us, to you, hoping we will partake in the abundant life and light of his Love.
I would like to close with a quote from my favorite poet, a man of great and many talents, Nacho Libre: “My life is good, real good”.
This abundant life is good, and I would like to add beautiful and true to that list as well,
Until next time,