There's a line from the classic Christmas movie, A Christmas Story, where Ralphie, the BB gun-obsessed young boy, states that for a kid, the entire year revolves around December 25th. The movie is a classic because there is a smattering a truths just like that throughout. Anyone who has ever had a child older than five knows that kids start thinking about Christmas around December the 27th.
One of the interesting things about being the Director of a camp is despite the fact Camp Rockfish is a year-round facility which hosts over 10,000 people throughout the year and has a thriving after school program, in many ways, our year revolves around the summer program. One of the reasons is though we're able to share the love of Christ with our retreat guest, other than our after school program, THE time we have the greatest opportunity to live into our mission to help others experience, grow in, and share the love of God through Jesus Christ is during our summer program. So, like a child who starts making his next Christmas list before the needles on the current tree start to fall, not long after the last day of summer camp ends, we—or at least, I—start looking toward the next summer. That "looking toward" kicks into high gear when January 1 rolls around. I shared with my wife the other day that when I put up our new calendar, it's almost as if I begin hearing a large clock ticking in the back of my mind.
To be honest, sometimes that ticking clock can be intimidating. Though it's exciting and rewarding work, I marvel every year at the magnitude of all that needs to be done in preparation for summer: recruiting, marketing, repairs, programming, programming renovation, building, writing blogs, fund raising for camperships, etc. The list seems to be endless. One of the things that makes the seemingly never-ending list of tasks more manageable is having an awesome staff to help carry the load. The past few years has seen the addition of some unbelievably gifted, passionate, and crazy (a prerequisite for working at camp) staff to the Rockfish team. Knowing they are as equally called as I am to do everything we can to make an eternal difference in camper's lives is a great comfort.
However, THE truth that brings the most comfort to me, and consequently helps me sleep at night, is we do all we do to serve a God who's "got this." God is in control. He's inviting us to do our best and then leave the rest up to Him. There is great, great peace in that reality. Jesus said it, "Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28, 30). He didn't say we wouldn't have a burden. Life is hard at times. Doing ministry for The Kingdom is challenging. Running a quality camp can be daunting. But it is significantly less daunting if we're doing what God has called us to (God's yoke) than attempting to change the world on our own power.
I'm sharing this topic in this week's blog because this morning, during my daily devotional time, I read the following entry from the book, Jesus Calling:
"Follow Me one step at a time. That is all I require of you. In fact, that is the only way to move through this space/time world. You see huge mountains looming, and you start wondering how you're going to scale those heights. Meanwhile, because you're not looking where you're going, you stumble on the easy path where I am leading you now. As I help you get back on your feet, you tell Me how worried you are about the cliffs up ahead. But you don't know what will happen today, much less tomorrow. Our path may take an abrupt turn, leading you away from those mountains. There may be an easier way up the mountains than is visible from this distance. If I do lead you up the cliffs, I will equip you thoroughly for that strenuous climb. I will even give My angels charge over you, to preserve you in all your ways.
Keep your mind on the present journey, enjoying My Presence. Walk by faith, not by sight, trusting Me to open up the way before you."
A wonderful reminder for all of us.