There are stairs everywhere here. I climb each and every one. As I climb, I hear voices in the background. One says, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he meditate day and night” and another, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and he delighteth in his way.” Memorization and Mediation is drilled into each one in attendance.
There is joy on almost every camper’s face. The waiting was hard, but, we’re finally here. They are so blessed to be at this place, and I wonder if they even know how blessed.
The counselors here are exuberant about running up and down the stairs. They’ve build up a lot of strength up until now. They’ve climbed these stairs thousands of times. Practice makes perfect. It’s hardly a task for them.
And my littlest friend and I keep walking and we pass others sojourners and they seem winded by the climb and it’s good to know that I’m not alone. It’s a tough climb for all of us. It would be so much easier to just stay at the top and not come down, and then I’d never have to climb. But to get anywhere you must be willing to go. And it’s not always a ‘Mountaintop experience’. If we didn’t have to climb we’d never know the joys of reaching our goal.
And as I keep on upward I think of the potential that these counselors meet with face to face every day. Our kids. Do they realize they are changing lives? I hope so, because they are. My husband wouldn’t be Tyler, the Preacher, today if it had not been for faithful camp staff, with hearts to serve the Lord. He would maybe be Tyler, the T.V. Salesman, or Tyler, the Lawyer, but not Tyler the Preacher. He would most certainly be, Tyler, the man running from God.
Here in this place there is so much joy. Joyful campers, joyful camp staff, joyful cooks, waitresses, janitors, office staff, guest speakers. Everyone here is so joyful! Ready to assist, prepared to aid, waiting to serve. Handpicked by God and placed here for a season. And I begin to think that joy is pretty contagious.
The preaching aimed specifically for the teenage soul, the verses chosen to penetrate the heart, one cannot leave this place unchanged, unless…unless they’ve decided to quit climbing. They have become weary of the trek, exhausted on the trail, winded by the challenge. They’ve sat down and fallen asleep. The hot and humid breeze of sinfulness fills their lungs, and there are bodies weakened by dehydration from the lack of the Water of Life.
But this place! This place is like the cup of cool water poured over their head to awaken, refresh and revive all those who would seek to be stirred. This is the time to arise and keep climbing, my camper friend! “Trying to walk in the steps of the Saviour, Upward still Upward we follow our Guide…”
The highlight of Thursday was that because Gabi was feeling a little bit better we (Teddy, Gabi, Will and I) decided to go tubing down the creek on the campgrounds. It was so much fun. When we got near the end, these boys were at the top of the bank shooting water guns at us. I used Will as an excuse so they didn't shoot me. Teddy tried to stay near me so that they wouldn't but it didn't really work. By the time we got out, she was sopping wet. Gabi started feeling bad again so they went back to sleep. She got up just in time to attend the service later that night. The Floyds watched my sweet sleeping baby while I went also!