I remember when I was a camper I always wanted to sit in the front row of the victory circle steps. It was the warmest, naturally closest to the fire, closest to Jack and Kimberly with their guitars, least distracting, and really just the best spot as a whole with all the other voices singing around you.
Being the center of attention has always been like this for me. It’s warm place. A good place. There is a sense of safety…security maybe? Yet, God has been teaching that often times the center of His will is on the sidelines, behind the scenes, in the crowd, and doing the dirty work. What a challenge this is.
Being the girls’ high school staff leader to ten young ladies has taught me that hard work and genuine hearts are what He uses. Each one of those sweet girls—some quiet, some out-going, perceptive, good-humored, charming, detailed, expressive, thoughtful, competitive, determined, loyal, and true—has brought a piece of God’s goodness to our group through their labor, their prayers, and their growth. Cleaning bathrooms, serving food, doing dishes, and taking a cabin to archery has never seemed so glamorous or appealing.
Also, I have had the chance to live and work with the cooks and the lifeguard. These ladies we call “Support staff.” And that they are. From just being available for setting up a game, cleaning, or taking a cabin, to being a listening ear, a source of encouragement, and an example to my high school girls—these women are a picture of godly service behind the scenes.
As I look at the end of this summer, much like one might look at the end of a week of camp, I am challenged to not forget the lessons I have learned. It is not about me. It is not even about what I do. It is about being obedient and available for Him and what He wants to do with this life.
In my quiet time yesterday, I was reading Psalm 23. This picture of being a part of a flock of a sheep is much like being a part of summer camp staff or sitting on the victory circle steps. He is my Shepherd, and I am small. “He makes me to lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters, he restores my soul, and He guides me in paths of righteousness for—not mine but—His name sake.” (Ps. 23:1-3)
Girls High School Staff Leader
Camp Gilead Summer 2009