Endurance! #216

Deerfoot Lodge is good at developing endurance: “the ability to withstand hardship, adversity, or stress” – Webster’s Dictionary

The staff arrives for three weeks of training and the first thing on the agenda is to carry the treated lumber dock sections (heavy!) from Founders Lodge to the waterfront. The sections are taken from a stack 6’ high, out the door and carefully lifted up and over the padded railing to a waiting group of 6 staff members who then slowly go down the uneven hill to the waterfront. Try this in the rain. Yes, it builds unity.

The staff needing life guard certification receives their training in Whitaker Lake when the water is 50–60 degrees. This training is really tough on cool, breezy days when the black flies are biting!

Consider what it takes to carry a 45lb pack up and down 4 of the High Peaks in one day. Now change your picture from a sunny to a rainy day and you are heading up where water is pouring down the rocks at you. I’ve done it many times. I remember the staff training hike when there was so much water that in normally soggy areas the wooden walk ways were floating. Do you step up onto them – and they sink, or go around them into what is certainly deep mud. Moisture absorbing socks swelled inside my boots…pain! Quit? How?

The kitchen is really hot in July. Taking 104 pizzas out of the ovens – endurance. How can you quit? Stir a boiling pot of spaghetti sauce. Wash pans in hot water….

Endurances must mix with patience and kindness when, every night, a Woodsman camper, afraid of the dark, wakes up his counselor to go with him to the Waldorf – and still wets his sleeping bag every night. This same camper complains bitterly on his overland hike, even though his counselor is carrying everything the camper is taking, except his sleeping bag!

I gave the stroke test for the Master’s in canoeing: 16 different strokes plus docking the canoe with the middle thwart hitting my toe.If a person was really struggling, he knew we would change places so I could demonstrate how the stroke should be done. To pass, each stroke and the dock landing had to be perfect. Counselor David Peterson, now a Vermont State Trouper, failed the test 9 times – passing on his 10th attempt. David knew he had mastered his strokes.

“Hey Chief Chuck, its upsetting to lose you – I mean who is going to check my strokes for like the 10th time, but you have made me stronger in the Lord.” Ricky – in the notes from Islanders to me when I retired.

Notice how he tied the physical/mental endurance tied into what is required in our walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Endurance: devotions almost every day, exercising, studying hard to get even a C, hugging a child who did his best, and did not make the cut for the soccer team. Endurance: working through a tough marital relationship, caring for a mentally or physically challenged child. Endurance: a parent with Alzheimer’s. Endurance: waiting for an answer to prayer.

The Apostle Paul’s Charge to Timothy: “You know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings–what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. If you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.” I Timothy 3:10-11, 2:3

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