Phone call: “Chief, one of my campers got a small stick stuck in his eye – we are taking him to the hospital at Tupper Lake. We don’t know how bad it is”. What happened? “We were walking down the trail. He looked behind to talk with his friend, and when he turned back, he turned directly into a small stick…it went through his eye lid…which bled. There looked to be some clear fluid, so it probably went into his eyeball. We left a piece of the stick in the eye, covered the other eye so he would not move his eyes, and I ran for help. We carried him to the car. That’s all I know.” The stick slid along the side of his eyeball – no significant damage. We thanked God that the eye ball was not damaged, and we were thankful the counselors knew what to do in the emergency.
It is so easy to say “Don’t worry, God is in charge!” Ultimately He is…but in the mean time, to a huge degree, I was!! God delegated to me, as the Director of Deerfoot Lodge, the responsibility to choose and prepare each person on the staff for the expected, and the unexpected, that happened to every counselor every summer, be it starting a fire in rain, canoeing on a stormy lake, caring for a very homesick camper – or the camper who gets a stick in his eye.
What follows is based upon what was in last week’s IPWG (#182 2/4/13) about the Deerfooter who became Director of TIMO, which provides a 2 year training experience for young people seeking to gain a foundation in un-reached people ministry. I encourage you to take a minute to review the material.
Before “TIMO” received his staff contract, through my interview and his recommendations, I was convinced he had a good knowledge of the Bible, was solid theologically, enjoyed kids of various ages, desired to build godly men, enjoyed the wilderness, and was a self-starter with good energy levels. I explained that 38 of the 43 counseling staff had previous DL training and experience as counselors and in the instructional areas. Most had Life Guard, Wilderness 1st Aid, and CPR certifications. For 3 weeks, 6 days a week, from 7 AM to 10:30 PM, TIMO pushed himself to gain basic DL training – mostly taught by returning DL staff.
During the next three summers he served as a counselor in all 3 sections and co-led a 12 day Allagash River canoe trip in Maine. Next came a summer working with other Deerfooters at a camp in Venezuela begun by Deerfooter Peter McMillan. Two summers later TIMO was 1 of 4 Guide leaders who worked for 8 weeks with 28 of the previous summer’s top DL campers who had potential to become future staff. The 4, using provided materials, planned and led this challenging program.
When you hear someone say “the Lord did it” – ask yourself “What did God directly do – and what had He delegated human beings to do”? Perhaps it is more honest to say “to God be the Glory – great things He has done.” God enables us to serve Him.
And so I challenge you: whatever you do, do well, PARTICULARLY within the Christian community. As you seek to live day by day In Partnership With God, take seriously what God, through His people has delegated you to do. Carefully prepare each lesson. As a pastor, elder, or youth leader, carefully plan how your church can be used of the Lord to build godly people – be they young or old! Remember: Plan your work – work your plan.
God has delegated much to each of us!!! He will provide what we need to carry out the delegation. God can step in and re-direct – do a miracle, but this is not the norm. If the Lord did everything for us, we would not grow as TIMO did. We are to live In Partnership With God. Partners work together!