“At home we don’t have trees.”
- It is easy to forget there are campers who have never seen a tree – or the ocean that is about three blocks from their home. Their family has no car and busy roads prevent walking to the ocean.
- It is easy to forget there are campers who have never seen the bright colors of a sunset, or a star-filled sky.
- It is easy to forget there are campers who have never heard wind blowing through the trees, a bird sing, or quiet.
- It is easy, at Deerfoot, to see huge trees with different barks and leaves, and large rocks with soft moss growing on them, and the Milky Way, and a moon reflecting off the water, and a doe 10’feet way, and two loons gliding by, making their strangely beautiful sounds.
- It is easy to forget there are campers who believe our world evolved over millions of years – they have been taught this in school, complete with pictures to show how human beings came from apes, which came from…
- It is easy to forget there are campers who have never owned a Bible. There are even more campers who can find a book in the Bible’s index, but have no idea what 1:21 means. Yes, this can be true of Indians new to DL. And it is good to be able to show a camper where the Bible tells us this world was created for us by God.
- It is easy to explain that the God who created this universe provided a book, the Bible, to teach us how we can best live in this world He made. The Bible is God’s guide book. It is satisfying to help a camper begin to read an age-appropriate Bible. And to know that, during quiet time, the camper can read the Bible so he can learn God’s way of doing things – and to learn about how Jesus demonstrated God’s way of doing things.
It is true, the Bible contains more words than any other book campers have ever seen – but when a camper learns there are “chapter books” within the big book, it makes reading the Bible seem more possible. When a camper begins to read his Bible, cabin devotions make more sense, as do the after breakfast Bible studies. As a camper reads the Bible, frequently he comes face to face with the fact that he is not living as God tells him he should. A choice must be made.
When I read the Bible, I re-read how I am to have only one God, how I am to love my neighbor as I love myself , and this means I am to respect and care for them as fellow human beings – the result of God’s creation. When I read my Bible I realize I must forgive – and somehow to keep no record of wrong. And the Bible reminds me to pray for those in government. And to be a peace-maker….
Yet, even knowing all of this, there are times when I have stopped reading my Bible daily – or even regularly. It is easy for me to rationalize: I have read every word in the Bible many times – I have a pretty good idea of what it says. But
I need the reminder there is only one God. I need to be reminded what attitudes I need to have, to live out. I need to be reminded to pray…to really talk with God. Yes, and somehow to listen to Him speak to me – often through the Bible.
I also know that, even when I read my Bible, it is hard to understand the bad things that happen to good people. I know that, even when I read my Bible, and try to do what is right before God every time, there are times when God seems to have gone on a vacation.
At times like this, I know I must look back at my history with God. I must remember those times when I believe God has forgiven me, provided for me and protected me. I must look back and see how God used me as His agent of love and compassion. And I can look back at the Scriptures and be reminded that good and bad things happened to His people…and He remained a loving, redeeming, faithful God.
Sometimes all I can do is hug the camper whose family moved and he has no friends, or whose uncle was killed in a car wreck, or mom and dad just got a divorce – even though he prayed it would never happen! Sometimes all I can do is say I have prayers that I do not see answered. I don’t understand either. And I can also say God has proven His love for me many times. I can say to the camper, just as God loves me, he loves you. The Bible tells us so.
Please do not give up on God…. I haven’t.