Before God created man, He created the place where man would live. Six times God said about His own creation “it was good”. Genesis 1:10,12,18,21,25,31. The place, Deerfoot Lodge, is part of the perfect world God created, and fortunately, at Derfoot, human beings have not done much to what God created.
When old Deerfooters return to DL, many stand where the flag pole is, and look across the lake to the Dug Mountains. Often I saw tears on their cheeks as they said “this place is just as I remember it”. Deerfoot Lodge is God’s place physically as well as spiritually.
At Breakfast on the first Sunday morning of each session, I asked the campers go with their counselors into the woods. They were encouraged to take a close look at God’s handiwork and return to share one of the following:
- The difference between the world of DL, and the world where they live
- Something which they felt was a symbol of God – a reminder of who God is, what He is like
- A parable – an earthly story with a heavenly meaning, based upon what they had observed
After the campers have the opportunity to share with their peers, each Section Chief would ask about ten campers from his section to share during the morning worship service. Between the singing of hymns and the reading of scripture, those who were going to share came by section onto the low platform
I can still picture the large African-American camper wearing a new bright blue sweat suit. He stepped up to the microphone and, without a smile, said “at home we don’t have trees”.
When this young man arrived at DL, he had seen very little of the world God had created for him to enjoy. His world had been tall buildings, concrete streets, traffic lights, and noise. Perhaps he had never seen a lake – certainly not a lake with two loons gliding upon its surface. Due to pollution and street lights, he may not have seen a clear blue, or star filled, sky. Perhaps he had never “heard silence”. What did he think when experiencing his first lightening and thunder storm?
When I am at Deerfoot Lodge, I am reminded that there must be a God – a creative, powerful God. Paul refers to this fact when he wrote “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made” — Romans 1:8
David was a shepherd boy. He had lived with rivers and rocks, bears and lions, the sun, moon and the stars. David had been chosen and protected by God. It is out of the context of his life experiences that he wrote:
“O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens…When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” — Psalm 8
God created a perfect world. I cannot justly blame God for the imperfections of this present world.
Our God remains an awesome God.
My challenge: to live in this imperfect world In Partnership With God.