“Surprised by God”

            I read an article on the Huffington Post last week written by a college student who served as a camp counselor at camp this past summer. She said this about her experience as a summer staffer, “this past summer I decided on a whim, to give camp counseling a try. I’m a college student without a declared major and a big, ambiguous future ahead of me. I know I’m not the only one who fits this description, and because of my current circumstances, camp entered my life at a perfect time. I found a sense of purpose and direction, and I wasn’t even looking for it.” What a powerful witness to the work of God at camp. No one is left alone at camp. God seems in God’s own way to stir up the heart and soul of all of us whatever our role may be in the summer camp experience. I know I was stirred and moved on many occasions as I experienced once again the tireless work of God’s most Holy Spirit as it did it’s work among us here at camp.

It is really difficult to put into words when you try to describe what God does in this sacred place called camp. It is a must experience for any of us regardless of our age. All we have to do is show up and be available. During summer camp I am blessed to be a part of that working of God in the lives of those we serve. It is a most sacred gift to me and I grateful to be a part such work. During retreat season I get to watch it from afar. I stand in the café at Still Water Lodge and watch a group of men huddle up out in the back yard on the patio as they work around the circle at the closing of their retreat and try to find the words to describe what God has done in them over the past few days. I watch as their body shakes and they can’t find the words and the arms of other men wrap around them and comfort them in the love and grace of God.

I loved the description of the college student when she said, “I found a sense of purpose and direction, and I wasn’t even looking for it.” God seems to always surprise us when we least expect it. Camp can be like that. And sometimes those are the best gifts we receive from God because they do catch us so by surprise. God’s ways are not are ways. What I always discover about camp is that regardless of why I come and what is going on in my life God always manages to find me here. Those experiences here over my 58 years could fill a book. Suffice it to say I can’t begin to imagine my life without them.

When was the last time you showed up down here. Or have you ever at all? Well, maybe it is time. Or maybe it is time you shared such a gift with someone you love. Have you registered your kids for camp yet? What about your grand kids if you have them? Or better yet have you applied to serve as a summer staffer or a volunteer? Like the young college student you too might be surprised with what God will do if you just show up! God has a way of surprising us. Either way you won’t be disappointed!