If you haven’t picked up on it by now, I love camp. I love the buildup of going to camp, recruiting for camp, the experience of camp itself, the relationships I make at camp, the benefits that stem from working at a camp, the list could go on for quite some time.
For a little while now, I have been thinking about what I want my focus to be this summer, what I want to intentionally work on, both myself individual, my area under me, and my team as a whole.
There are a lot of great things that I could choose to work on (see A Note to My Summer Self here). Joy, patience, prayer, encouragement, just to name a few. I’ve been wrestling about what I want to individually focus on this summer, and the Lord showed me.
He knows how much I love camp, and He also knows how idols usually come about – too much of a good thing.
My prayer for this summer is that I won’t turn camp (or any of its components) into an idol. I will prayerfully make Christ the center of my summer.
I’ve been reading through the book “With” by Skye Jethani (recommended to me camp director and my boss, Eric). The main idea of the book is that we are to live our lives not under, over, from, or for God, but with God. (All that I’ve learned through this book so far is worthy of another entire post itself.)
As I was reading, I realized that camp and my passion for it can go two ways: one, it could bring glory to God and honor Him, or two, it could turn into a distraction and an idol, driving me away from keeping God as the sole focus of my life.
There is nothing wrong with camp ministry. In fact, it’s what I want to pursue fulltime upon graduation. It is the love of camp ministry and putting camp ministry above the One it glorifies that is wrong.
“…An idol is a good thing made into an ultimate thing, and the temptation…is to put the good mission of God into the place God alone should occupy.”
Camp is a ministry – a mission for us as believers to tell children and their families the good news of Jesus Christ. As soon as the mission of camp becomes foremost in my mind and in my heart above God, there is a problem. I am to focus on God first, not the mission to serve Him.
“This is the first failure of LIFE FOR GOD – it puts God’s mission ahead of God himself. Paul, the most celebrated missionary in history, did not make this mistake. He understood that his calling (to be a messenger to the Gentiles) was not the same as his treasure (to be united with Christ). His communion with Christ rooted and preceded his work for him. The danger of confusing these two things is very real.”
This summer, I want Christ to be the center. The center of every morning when I wake up, the center of every evening when I lay my head on my pillow to fall asleep, the center of every word I speak and every song I sing: I want Christ to be the center. I want Him and Him alone to take first place in my life this summer.