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Missing Camp

August 27, 2010

Confession: I miss camp.

A quick trip to camp yesterday morning reminded me of things I  miss about the summer: the steady routine of a typical day, the sound of campers voices in the distance, the view from the front porch and from Morning Watch, the sunsets over the horizon, and so much more.

When asking campers and staff what they miss most about camp, the most common response is some variation of: “The closeness I felt to God and those around me.” It is so easy to feel God’s presence at camp – in the beautiful surroundings, the quiet reflections at Morning Watch, the lessons learned in devotions, and the encouragement received from friends. And camp is the perfect place to form strong friendships – a group of people gathered in one place, sharing a common bond (Christ), and professing the same faith. It is no wonder we miss these things when not at camp.

While we may miss camp, the good news is this: we worship a God who does not dwell in one place alone – whether it be a temple, a building, or a summer camp. Instead, as the Apostle Paul reminds us, the Spirit of God dwells in our hearts (1 Corinthians 3:17). This means that the closeness to God and others we feel at camp – this same closeness can be felt where we are, right now, because God is present with us in our hearts. It would be a mistake to say that camp is the only place we can feel close to God. Yes, camp is free of many distractions and outside influences we face “in the world,” but God does not dwell at camp alone. God dwells where His people are. He dwells where YOU are!

There are many things to miss about camp, but as we reflect on the summer and all the ways God made Himself known in our lives, let us not overlook what He is doing right now. Here are just a few ways God is present in camp life, even when camp is not in session:

  • He is present in the lives of each of you – campers, parents, staff members, supporters, and so many others who carry a love and appreciation for camp with you throughout the year
  • He is present in the prayer, planning, and preparations that are already being made for next summer
  • He is present at Camp Oak Hill Bible Study, a great way for high school students to get plugged in with other campers in the Raleigh area
  • He is present in the upcoming Golf Tournament, an annual fundraiser for camp taking place on September 21 in Raleigh
  • And so many other ways…

As you reflect on summer camp, or wherever God has made Himself known to you in your life, I encourage you to pause and reflect on how God is present in your life right now. “Be still, and know that I am God,” as the Psalmist reminds us (Psalm 46:10). And when you feel the longing for closeness or a deeper relationship with God, know that He is present with you wherever you are.

Brian

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