Lake Waubesa Bible Camp

Archive for April 2014

…leaves…

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leaves

There are 200,000 leaves on the average oak tree. Sometimes it feels like there are 200,000 oak trees at camp. That makes for lots of thousands of leaves that come OFF the trees at some point between the end of green summer and the beginning of green spring. As winter melted into spring and the snow finally trickled into the earth and lake, it exposed oodles of red and brown leaves that had been hibernating since October. And now that it actually feels good  to be outside (praise the Lord!), I have tried to tackle this leaf infestation one armful at a time. Here is my method:

  • Step One: Choose an area and rake all the leaves into piles. 
  • Step Two: Put as many leaves as possible into a large garbage can. 
  • Step Three: Carry the garbage can to the burn pile and [attempt to] dump the leaves on top. 
  • Step Four: Burn leaves. 

   Repeat steps one through three until campers arrive or arms fall off, whichever comes first. 

One day last week when my arms were very near to falling off and discouragement was weighing down the leaves, I asked James and Emily to remind me why in the world we are doing this anyway. Jesus tells us to make disciples. He says nothing about raking leaves. James’ answer was not original; it was our camp mission statement: “To create opportunities for life change through the love of Christ.” But can raking leaves really play a part in changing lives?

Yes, I believe it can.

When summer camp is not in session, we still get hundreds of people on the property for retreats, community events, and other school-year programs. For the most part, our staff are not the ones who disciple our guests. They bring their own leaders, create their own programs, and communicate the love of Christ through worship, speakers, activities, and relationships. As a camp staff, our role is primarily backstage. We clean, cook, check out ice skates, and rake leaves. As mundane as that sounds, the joy is in giving each group of people the opportunity to spend a weekend not doing those things. Sometimes it’s a lot easier to focus on Jesus when you’re not doing dishes or yard work because a break from the routine of life can help you refocus on what is truly important.

The work we do at camp is not glamorous. I am more often found in ripped jeans than dress clothes, more often covered in glitter from craft projects than intentional fanciness, and more often smelling of pancakes than perfume. But Jesus called fishermen to follow Him and God had a carpenter raise his Son and even when He uses ordinary people for ordinary things He is still using them, and that is pretty incredible. Besides, you can’t have a banquet for a king unless there are people to cook the food, right?

Whatever you are doing today, whether you are backstage or on the frontline, remember that it matters. Make it matter. Thanks for playing a part in the bigger picture.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

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