Monday, July 26, 2010

“I’m going to camp and I’m bringing a ...” by M.E. Loving

There is a game that has been around since who knows when that kids play when they go to or are at camp. It’s the “I’m going to camp and I’m bringing a...” game. The way the word works is that you fill in the blank with specific word that follows a rule, for example: has to have double consonant or the words have to start with letters in ABC order as each person takes their turn. The catch is the person who starts the game decides on the type of word allowed to complete the sentence but no one else knows. The players find their brain in overdrive attempting to guess the right items to ‘bring to camp’ and to figure out the unspoken rule of the game as to what makes the item fit the sentence!
The fun & frustrating part about this game I think is twofold: the guessing and the finally knowing while trying to get others to figure it out, as well as being the one who starts the game allowing the players to work through a solution.
Recently, I had the privilege to go as a chaperone to M4 Children’s Camp through our church’s childrens ministries. We played this game several times during our time there. This was the 3rd year that my son Carson and I attended and it rocked! Shameless plug--if you are looking for a super high quality Christian summer camp that doesn’t break your bank account, that is short, but that delivers Biblical truth in a multifaceted high energy format check out
And by the way, I am not very skilled at the guessing part of the game. Instead, I fully enjoy being the game starter. The reason is that you get to see how people think and act while helping them along the way.

There is another game that Christians find themselves playing quite often sometimes willingly, other times forcefully due to life’s circumstances. It’s the “I’m going to figure out ‘God’s will’ for my life” game. We think the way it works is that God has one career for us and surely He must show us so we can get on with life. Or other times, we think God is waiting to give us the solution to a problem and is just simply letting us guess away. In the meantime, we get more frustrated while He sits on the answer. Even though many Christians would never voice that they really think God is some type of cosmic Game Host messing with our lives, our attitudes and lifestyles often reflect that this belief is deep within us.
In the New Testament scriptures, Christ himself clearly explains that to be His follower you are to die to self. Our complete identity is to stem from being alive in Him. Also, all throughout scripture we see God calling men and women to follow Him with no other gain in mind than knowing God personally and making Him known to others relationally and globally. The details of how that will happen are not of utmost importance even though our human nature and especially our American climb-the-ladder-of-success culture says so. God is not sitting back messing with us waiting for us to figure out His ‘will’ for our lives as can be done in the previously mentioned game. But He does lovingly reveal to us the path He has for us only in increments so our affections can remain on Him for our good and His glory. Regardless of your vocationally abilities( different God-given skills and passions) often misused as the word “calling”, it is God’s plan or “will” or even “calling” that every Christ follower know Him and make Him known. According to the Biblical principles in Psalm 119:105 and Ephesians 2:10, God in His lovingkindness is in so many ways the one who has started the game and invited you into the game allowing you to work through a solution. He goes in advance for us preparing the road ahead of us. Simultaneously, He lights the way just in front of us and around us because that is all we need to know.

Pastor & Author Mark Batterson explains this struggle in his book In a Pit with a Lion on A Snowy Day by stating that:
“God wants you to get where God wants you to go more than you want to get where God wants you to here’s the catch: sometimes His itinerary entails coming face to face with a lion in a pit on a snowy day. But when you find yourself in those challenging circumstances, you need to know that God is ordering your footsteps. You can have a sense of destiny because you know that God has considered every contingency in your life, and He always has your best interest at heart. and that sense of destiny, rooted in the sovereignty of God, helps you pray the unthinkable and attempt the impossible”.

And by the way, I am convinced that God fully enjoys it when his children struggle to figure out and follow Him. In this process we get to know him more intimately while He helps us along the way. He is a loving expert and proved it through Christ.

See also these Scripture passages for further understanding & application:
Genesis 13:8-18 ; 2 Samuel 23:20-23 ; Proverbs 16:9 ; Matthew 10:37-39 ; Luke 9:23-25 ; Acts 17:24-28 ; Galatians 2:20 ; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

See also these recommended books for for further understanding & application on God’s “Calling” for your life:
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller ; Courage & Calling: embracing your God-given potential by Gordon T. Smith ; Radical:taking back your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt ; Crossroads: navigating your calling & career by Colin Creel

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