Thursday, June 29, 2017

Giving Thanks, Camps and other stuff...

It has been way too long since I have done a Thursdays are for Thanksgiving post so I thought that today would be a good day to get back in the habit!

Today I am thankful that God uses me in spite of myself!
When I examine John with a critical eye, I don't think I find the kind of guy that I would send several hours away or to multiple camps each summer to tell kids and young people about the love of a great and magnificent God.
And for the life of me, I can't understand why He does!
I don't even really like kids. (Here's a post from 11 years ago that talks about that!)

In over 15+ years I've been in too many children's camp to remember. I've done preschool day camps, 1st and 2nd graders in overnight camps, family camps, boys' camps, girls' camps, large camps and small camps. I've been to camps where I know almost all of the kids and I've been to camps where I haven't known anyone. I've been to camps where the joyous spirit of God's love permeates everything and I've been to camps where there were so many kids that really needed someone to love them that it broke even my hard heart.

I honestly don't get it.
How (or why) God uses a curmudgeonly, old guy to speak to sometimes tender, sometimes bratty little kids is beyond me. I don't get how a large group of young kids will sit quietly on a hard concrete floor and pay close attention to every word I'm saying and yet be unable to stay focused while others are speaking.

When it's not my time to speak or perform, I often retreat to my room or else force myself to be present with the kids. Truthfully, kids make me a bit uncomfortable.

It seems weird to be thankful for something that I would choose not to do.
I know that I could say "no" when churches call, but at some point I fear I would have to explain my refusal to serve to God. I'm afraid I already have enough 'splainin' to do and don't want to have to add this to the list!

Besides, there have been many blessings along the way.
I marvel at the adults that are blessed with the capacity to truly love kids!
I am constantly amazed by young people (youth kids and young adults) that pitch in and make these camps successful events. Over the years, I have been blessed to witness kids grow in their faith and become young adults that choose to live for Jesus.

And so I am thankful for the ministry that I have been given.
I often wish that I could travel with our church's mission teams, but those summer mission trips usually fall during camp season. Next week will find me at my fifth different camp of the summer.
From camp pastor to storyteller to entertainer...
This is my mission field.
And I am thankful.

John <><


Mike said...

Bless the adults that like kids.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Parents bless the givers of camps for kids.