Spring Vacation Work Week – I was the cook! #7

It was spring vacation and snow was still on the ground at Honey Rock Camp in Northern Wisconsin. Coach Chrouser had taken several of us teenagers for a work week. Coach was the camp’s founder, Athletic Director at Wheaton College, and my craft instructor during Christmas vacation several years before.

We used the outhouse as the camp water system had not been turnd on for the summer. My friend, Dave, was one big boy…and when he stepped on the outhouse floor…down he went! We heard his desperate call for help – and went running. We found Dave hanging by his hands…and started laughing so hard it was a challenge to pull him out – before he was into a really significant problem!

Coach decided I should be the cook for the week…in between my other work. Each morning he would talk me through the menu and tell me how to prepare the simple, but excellent, food. We worked hard, ate well, and laughed much as we worked getting camp ready for the coming season.

Each of us knew that we were important to Coach, and we learned that his high expectations of us were a demonstration of this relationship. With Coach we always learned new skillls – and that we must do our work well.

When we made a mistake under Coach, if we had done our best, we were encouragedd, received further instruction and we continued on with our work. When we did something wrong becaue we were lazy, or because we “broke the rules”, we were soon reminded of the fact…very explicitly, very intensely. When he was sure we realized the folly of our ways …we never heard about the incident again. Coach never changed – we did! It was a privilege to work for and with Coach Chrouser.

When we invite a person to work with us on a project for which they lack the necessary skills and/or self confidence, the person is almost always pleased we thought they could handle the resonsibility – even if they say “no thanks”. Our challenge is to match the person with the right opportunity through which they can learn and succeed. When beginnning a new responsibility, the person needs to know what is expected of them and that they will receive the necessary instruction/coaching. And then encourage…praise…thank! As the person grows into more of what the Lord would have them be, the person feels good about themselves – and appreciative of the person who gave them the opportunity to grow. (NEVER dump work you do not want to do on an unsuspecting person!)

Coach showed me that I could do more than I througt I could through the Christmas vacation craft program a few years before. And so if Coach said I could cook for 8 people, I believed I could…with his help. Coach would not let me fail! Soon I was cooking on the trail at Honey Rock, and a few years later I cooked for 200 college athletes.

When we have the opportunity to work or play with a person who has more knowledge/skill than we do, we should welcome the opportunity. When we have the opportunity of having someone work with us – planting a garden, repairing a car, leading a Bible study, teaching a class, building furniture or a log cabin, painting a barn, preparing a nice meal – let us welcome the opportunity to teach, to encourage, to buid up one of God’s special people. This is part of living In Partnership With God.

Think through the things that Jesus did alone…it will not take you very long!

“Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the LORD delivers him in times of trouble. The LORD will protect him and preserve his life; he will bless him in the land.” — Psalm 41:1-2

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