Camp ministry is an interesting animal – as much as you think you know how God’s going to be at work, you never fully know what’s going to happen until you’re in the heat of the moment. Sure, one can plan and program and rehearse until they’re blue in the face, but when it’s time, there’s a myriad of x-factors that can make calling an audible an almost-constant possibility. The supernatural things that God plans to do in the hearts of hundreds of campers can’t possibly all be planned for. The spiritual attacks that Satan also tries to unleash on those same campers can’t all be foreseen and dealt with. It’s up to the Holy Spirit – and our sensitivity to how He’s at work – to move, guide, direct, give discernment to, and LEAD every member of the camp staff.
When we take a closer look, isn’t this really how our entire lives work? Don’t we plan and rehearse, thinking we’ve got our act together and our five year plan knocked out cold… when all of a sudden, a cluster of plan-B-inducers slap us in the face and swing us seemingly “off-course”? You’d be hard-pressed to find a follower of Christ who doesn’t have SOME element of this somewhere in their story. We assume that we’ve been thrown off of our path and need to somehow deal with the issues at hand, navigating our way back to where we think we need to be.
In reality, the “x-factors” that changed our path were the REAL path that God’s created for us. The character and reflection of Himself that God wants to build in us through the times of trial are inseparable from life in Christ; if we’d be able to see in advance how He plans to use difficulties to mold and shape us, we’d kick & scream and fight to never let it happen. But if we accept direction-changes as His handiwork instead of ‘something wrong happening’, we get a better glimpse of who He is and who we have yet to become.
Let’s plan and prepare our life, surrendering EVERYthing to God with every step we take… and let’s not be unbelievably surprised when He allows our direction to change. It may be for a season, it may be for our entire life… but it’s Him who purposed it, and it’s Him who should get the glory for writing our story the way HE wants to, regardless of what our involvement in it looks like. I may be the tiniest pawn in his play or a main character for a chapter, but one thing’s for sure – I’m not the Author.
Holy Author, please give me the strength to take each step that You give. Give me the grace and discernment to navigate direction-changes that You’ve planned. Give me unshakeable faith, that I may trust Your story is better than any one I’ll ever be able to write. Give me more of You.