Forty incredible Deerfooters arrived from 15 states for the Joshua Weekend. For me, personally, it was very rewarding. Most had been DL staff members while I was Director and trained in leadership/management. I think all had been Counselors – responsible for the development of the young men under their care. Many had also worked in the kitchen or on maintenance, headed up a program area, been a section chief, a Guide Leader, the Assistant to the Director. Most are working in their chosen vocation, and many continue their formal education. A significant number are leading youth groups and/or providing leadership in other areas of their church. The singing at the Breaking of Bread service was once again incredible! Living In Partnership With God is a reality for possibly all of these men.
Chief Ron gave me two months to prepare, and I felt a heavy responsibility to God, and to these special men, to help make the weekend a significant event in each of their lives.
During the first session I encouraged each to single out the 10-12 most significant areas in his life. Small groups were used, and biblical confirmation was sought for each area. After this initial work, the wisdom of Solomon as stated in Ecclesiastes was considered – and then the results of 3 secular studies were reviewed. At the conclusion of the session each was asked to finalize his personal list, and numerically rate, on a scale of 1-10, where they were in each area.
For the second session they were asked to select one area of importance from the previous night where they would like to move from where they felt they presently were – toward where they would like to be. The focus here was on self-management and the reality that a change in one area would impact other areas of their life – ripple effect.
For the third session I encouraged each person to recognize he had experienced community at DL and that he had helped to provide solid organization and management. These experiences provided part of the foundation from which they could move, and also a “picture” toward which they could work Throughout this session I shared some of the process through which DL worked as it moved from where it was 25 years ago to where it is today.
The singing during the Breaking of Bread service was incredible! As we celebrated God’s gift of eternal life, Jon Redeker summed up the weekend for me. He reminded us that Jesus, before the crucifixion, cried out “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me!” Jon said he could imagine God’s response: “If not you, who?”
These words have been burned into my brain as God’s question to me. “If not you, who?”
And so I must recognize what I believe to be of significant value to God – and thus should be of value to me. I must continue to work at living out more of what God desires me to be. I must welcome my responsibility to utilize all that God has entrusted to me – to do the good works which He has prepared for me to do.
Jesus had the time to be with His disciples, the closest He had to a human family. Jesus had the time to celebrate at a wedding and spend blocks of time talking with God. He faced the need to feed, to heal, to answer hostile questions and to teach, yet we never get the feeling Jesus was running around like a mad man.
Every opportunity I face is not a call of God! May I spend sufficient time with God to know what He would have me do before I give myself to any new situation. When I believe I know what God would have me do, I must take the task seriously – while keeping in mind the other responsibilities He has given to me: continued time with Him and my family, in celebration, and getting good exercise, food, and sleep.
As I live as God’s man I will have little continuing stress, a free spirit, a joyous heart. Deerfoot encourages me to do this.