Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Reluctant Camper

I rejoiced at every stoplight last Friday evening, because it was one more delay in getting there.  I was headed to a nearby YMCA camp for our church's women's retreat.  I didn't want to go.  Nothing new.  I had a history of not wanting to go on retreats.  And as usual, in anything I know I should do, I conjured up an impressive list of significant and pressing excuses to give me a valid reason why to not go.

Except this time, this year, not one of those very imaginative excuses held any water at all.

My husband encouraged me, my good friend signed me up for her cabin, there were no family emergencies, and the weekend was open.  Oh, nuts.

I pulled into the line of cars in the parking lot, prayed for guidance, and put on my big girl shoes.  As I carried my sleeping bag and duffel bag across the gravel, God impressed on my heart, "Did it occur to you that this may not be about you at all?"

Reluctance is not trusting God in this.

Obedience is never insignificant.  It spills out over everything and impacts everyone around you.  I just need to follow the next right step.

Indeed, to know the outcome just spoils the surprises God has designed.

The teaching of Scripture was deep, the fellowship rich, discussions triggered open new spaces in my heart, and I realized what I almost missed.

I lived out in the flesh what I tell our grandchildren, "When you disobey, you don't get your way, you are just the one who misses out."

At one point, I followed a new friend up the tower at the camp.  I was latched onto the zip line before I even really thought about it. Looking down to the ground below, every fear I have ever had was jeering at me.  "I can't do this," I said to this young woman.

"Yes, you can," she nodded.  "You are strapped on.  It will be fun. We'll race.  1 2 3... let's go!"

And I stepped off my insecurities into a new dimension of God's faithfulness. And on the ride, no fear at all, just the fresh breeze filling my heart.

I didn't die. I learned that is what trusting God is like.  In impossible places. In improbable ways.

And as God told timid Gideon, an unlikely candidate for a prophet, "But I will be with you." (Judges 6. 15-16)

It is not that I should trust God in this.  I CAN trust God in this.  He is faithful.  He is always faithful.

It is not what I took away from the weekend.
It is that God changed me through it.

Oh, what I would have missed.
And I have a feeling,
     I have seen nothing yet.

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