Most DL counselors arrive with all they will need for the summer in a back pack, duffle bag or equivalent. Support staff may bring a bit more due to their storage area in the Hutch Cabin, but not much.
Everything they need for 11 weeks: Bible, notebook, a couple pens, a flashlight, tooth brush… and clothes for rain, cold, and hot, and what’s needed for swimming, hiking trips, canoe trips, banquet night and Sunday morning.
What people wear or have is not a matter of concern, though it is fun to see some new piece of camping technology someone brought. Nothing extra. Time is not spent on deciding what to wear, nor is it spent on taking care of very much. It seems the more weeks young men spend at DL, the less they bring. After 10 summers, they don’t arrive with much.
Jesus and His disciples had fewer physical things than did DL counselors.
Because the disciples and the DL staff did not have much stuff, the staff was able to focus on caring for people and their spiritual, emotional and physical needs. Time was not spent on deciding what to wear, or watching TV or on the phone or at the computer or reading the newspaper.
As Jesus and His disciples, and the DL staff and campers, fished in the calm of early morning, or hiked on the trail for many hours, there were many hours to talk, to think, to pray…and laugh and, perhaps, cry together.
As for me, I have a canoe – and we also have a house with furniture, and windows that need washing, and a deck and a porch, a yard with grass and flowers, a vegetable garden, and blueberry bushes (10 gallons frozen last summer), and raspberries and rhubarb. And we also have a mower, weed whacker and small rototiller, and garden hoses and 2 shovels, 2 hoes, a dandelion digger, and a snow blower…and clothes – multiples of everything. Plus a desk top computer and two printers, and a notebook computer, cell phone, and now a Kindle.
Who has more time for people…Jesus and His disciples, the DL staff members, or me? Who has more time to think and read and pray? Who has more time to respond to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit?
Sometimes I get it right: Tuesday lunch at Wendy’s with Sam, who has Alzheimer’s. A call to Sal’s wife: “How did the surgery go?” Fixing breakfast for a friend on Thursday. How often would God like to use me like this?
I doubt I sense the still small voice of God when pushing to get the lawn mowed, the garden weeded, new seeds planted, a table from the porch repaired, and the trim on the front door painted. The more we have, the more we must care for. Perhaps the more we have, the less I can focus on Living In Partnership with God.
Should we move to a condo, thus greatly reducing what we have, and what we need to care for, seeking to keep in mind that we are making this move significantly because we want to be more available to God? That is a scary thought, and the answer is not easy!
We had 23 here for Easter dinner, 12 were children (we hid over 200 eggs!). People frequently come here for a meal, a day, an overnight, a week. Is this why we live where and as we do? The yard and gardens require considerable physical work! I am sure we would not work as hard or as faithfully if we got our exercise at the “Y”. Nor would we have the fresh organic fruits and vegetables and fresh air to enjoy.
What is rationalization? What is God’s will? I really do want to live “In Partnership With God”.