Jesus demonstrated the best way to learn God’s truths. The 12 disciples lived with Jesus for 3 years when, together, they walked hundreds of miles. They were with Jesus when He turned water into wine, told parables – and explained their meaning, taught 5000 plus women and children sitting on a hillside and then feed all of them with 5 loaves and two fish, healed the sick, cast out demons, calmed a storm, enabled Peter to walk on water, responded to interruptions and hostile criticism, prayed for them, and went away to pray by Himself. They had been sent out by Jesus with nothing but the clothes on their backs, to essentially do what they had seen Jesus do.
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John give us this information. At the end of his book, John wrote: “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written” — John 21:25.
Deerfoot Lodge teaches in much the same way Jesus did. As the Director of Deerfoot Lodge, I essentially lived with the DL men 14 hours a day, 6 days a week. Many of them had been with me when they were campers and guides. The counselors were with me through 3 weeks of staff training and 8 weeks of summer camp every summer. We ate together, worked together, worshiped together and walked many miles together. They were with me as I stood at line up, ate my meals, taught the After Breakfast Bible Study, prepared an apple cobbler in a Dutch oven, taught canoeing, answered questions, managed the staff and supervised the program. They were with me on change- over weekends as I talked with happy parents and listened to parents who wanted to be the exception for a DL policy – or wanted special treatment for their son.
They were also with me when I asked for their advice, their input. And they were with me when I jumped to a conclusion without getting all of the facts, and when I made poor decisions – then, realizing my mistake (sometimes with their help), asked for their forgiveness.
They were with me when, at the end of staff training, I asked them to do what they had seen me do.
The DL counseling staff did this, and much more, as they lived with their campers 24/6 – as they ate, worked in instructional areas, enjoyed flex time, encouraged the struggling camper, dealt with difficult campers, participated in sectional and all camp activities, hiked and, in cabin devotions, talked about how God’s word applied to the days events.
At the end of each session, their counselors and I encouraged the campers to do what they had seen us do while at DL.
We know that many campers told their families of their DL experiences, and worked at living as they had seen the DL staff live – in ways pleasing to the Lord.
Jesus taught through action and word, as I sought to do, as the counselors sought to do, and as many campers sought to do.
Learning to live In Partnership With God is easier when there is a good role model. Jesus was the best!