Sally Jo and I had waited somewhat patiently for God’s next assignment. We were both excited about the opportunity to work with Deerfoot Lodge, and when we went to see Deerfoot for the first time, this excitement was further kindled as we drove up I-87 from New Jersey to Albany, NY. It was beautiful: the Hudson River, the Swangunk and Catskill Mountains, the fresh snow. We were back to the area of the country we had so enjoyed during our four years in Connecticut.
Later, as I met with the selection committee and learned more of the ministry of Deerfoot Lodge my heart was thankful to the place of bursting. But as I flew from Newark back to Dallas, self doubt began to push the excitement aside. Would I get the job – this job that seemed so right to us.
And then the call came: “Chuck, the committee believes that you are God’s choice for the new Director of Deerfoot Lodge”. Our first response: excitement. My second response: Can I really do this?” How would I do without a supporting staff?” Could I do a good job as a camp director without a staff member with an MBA of Business, and another with an MBA in marketing? How would I do without an excellent secretary, without an excellent program man, and without a year around maintenance man? How could I direct a camp that I had never seen in operation, never seen except under a foot of snow? And where would I find sixty staff? I only knew one potential staff member well.
My uneasiness increased as it began to sink in that I would spend most of the next five months alone. Sally Jo and our three children would be remaining in Dallas through the end of the school year while I traveled out from the Harro’s home to visit other DL Board members, potential staff, and to make DL presentations – presentations about a place I knew very little about. And what had I done to us financially? We had a daughter heading for college the next year and I was taking a cut of a third in my compensation package, and we were moving from Texas where there was no sales tax, no state income tax, and property taxes were three times what they were Texas.
“Lord, did I misunderstand your leading?” Yes, I had experienced God’s provisions for our family and for the ministries I had been a part of in the past, but I could not help but wonder if these provisions would continue. I knew I should be able to trust in the Lord, to have confidence in God’s dependable guidance and provision, but in this situation, it was a stretch. It did not help that I was still struggling with occasional visual distortion of the real world around me.
Through the Bible I knew my feelings of inadequacy, of doubting God’s sufficiency, had been experienced by others God had chosen for specific tasks. God said to Moses, I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses responded: Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt? If I go to the Israelites and say to them, the God of your fathers has sent me, and they ask, what is his name?, what shall I tell them? What if they do not believe me? O Lord, I have never been eloquent, I am slow of speech and tongue?” –Exodus 3 and 4
At such times, if we want to live “In Partnership With God”, we must continue to go forward, doing what we believe God would have us do, regardless of how impossible the task truly is – apart from the Lord’s continual guidance and provision.
In this situation, I never did hear God’s voice, or have Him speak to me through a dream. But as I worked hard at seeking to do the job others, as well as Sally Jo and I, believed God desired for us to do, I did experience God’s guidance and provision. Yes, God was being God, and I only needed to be His faithful servant.