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  • Katie Smith

Cross Between Camp and Mission

Updated: Apr 26

We sort of feel like we have been living in a constant state of summer camp mixed with a mission trip. Our stuff is jammed in trunks, smashed in bags or shoved into tight crawl spaces. Everything is dirty ALL THE TIME. We have to share a bathroom with a bunch of people (who tend to pee on the floor and wall might I add). We have quiet hours in most places we stay. We’re always on the lookout for someone to pray for, cook for, or watch out for. And a break means sitting in a hammock.

The mountain top moments are just that--incredibly beautiful mountain highs that are so high and miraculous, your breath is stolen. But the lows, are really low-- literal valleys of demonic forces. Think going from peaceful scenic screen-savor with hallmark movie laughter to a flooding rig, screaming children, and stuck between a literal rock and a hard place. It reminds me of when Jesus took John, Peter, and James up to the mount of transfiguration. It was so unreal to see Elijah and Moses and Jesus all talking together in a beautifully, serene and peaceful setting. Christ's disciples wanted to build homes there and probably never leave.

But just after that experience, the four men descend the mountain to find a demon-possessed boy, foaming and seizing. No prayer by the other disciples seems to help or heal in any way. Nothing seems to combat the evil they are witnessing just after the glory they experienced shining around Jesus on the mountain.

I can relate. We have had such high highs, and low lows here. It would appear that the more obedient we are, the more we experience the supernatural. But that means both good and evil are witnessed on a real level. Still, God clearly wants us to maintain a different level of peace and contentment regardless of the highs and lows. Only then can we ride through the waves without vacillating. We can weather what comes not wanting to put up houses and keep the good times rolling, nor blockade the windows and keep the storms at bay. We simply recognize God has won the war and our times and experiences are in His hands.

Just like at camp or on mission, the days all blur together from these highs and lows. But it begs the question: Do days really matter? "Do not forget this one thing, friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." (2 Peter 3:8)

God seems to be remaking our concepts of day and week, as well as good and bad. Like astronauts losing their sense of direction or bodily awareness with the loss of gravity, we are losing our sense of time and pleasure in place of wisdom.  "Teach us to number our days right, Lord, that we may gain a heart of wisdom" (Psalm 90:12).

There's no concept of more or less here, there's only what God has in front of us. We don't have to try and build shelters like Peter to extend our stay. Nor do we need to panic when our feet are sinking in the ocean like Peter's and plead to leave.

So what is "reality"? A state of existence that gypsies try to lose in order to find their own definition of it? No. Reality is found in Christ alone. Everything else will leave you searching, clutching, and pining for more. Holding on to an experience, or if it's a negative one, trying to block it out forever.

"This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’" (Jer. 6:16)

Too often we refuse to obey God's prompting because we don't want to lose the structure and ease that we have been following all of our lives, but if we would step out in faith, we will experience true highs and lows that enable a new vision of reality. An eternal grasp that takes us out of "luke warm" living, and catapults us into mountains and valleys that nothing can compare.

"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me" (Psalm 23:1-4). We are learning to rest in the highs and lows, recalibrating our concept of camp, mission, and reality. We are only guaranteed today.

~Carefully and carelessly calibrating

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1 Comment

Apr 22

What a great reminder to be on the lookout for God in everything we do! I pray His continued protection on you and your family as you walk by faith...

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