Saturday, June 25, 2011

What I Learned at Camp

(Catchy title, huh!)

 So much goes on at at youth camp that, quite often it's hard to boil it down into one concise thought.  This year, however, is different for me.  Several different moments pointed me in the same direction and I wanted to collect my thoughts here.

There are age-graded seminars (or minisaurs, as Will the Trill called them) at SuperWow.  I went to the adult leader seminars.  On Tuesday, we looked at this verse:  Judges 3:31.  Shamgar is mentioned in only 2 verses in the bible:  this one and one a couple of chapters farther on (5:6) where it says that during his time, the highways were abandoned and travelers took to the back roads.  So this guy Shamgar killed 600 Philistines with, essentially, a stick that was used to drive his oxen.  The "Shamgar Principle" then is that you use what God has given you - to do what God has given you to do. The trick is to actually "see" what God has given you: to find your stick.

On Thursday night, we heard (saw actually, because it was done as a wordless drama) Drew Worsham's testimony.  His stick, obviously, was magic.  It was an ability he had been given and he decided to let the Lord use it.

At that moment, I decided to ask our youth pastor if I could lead our late night session.  He told me I could.  I started writing down for each person on our trip what I could see was a "stick" God had given them.  Sometimes your stick might be an obvious talent, but sometimes it's something that others may see as a liability.  Don't you know the Philistines laughed when they saw that all Shamgar had was a stick.  Goliath laughed the same way when David showed up with just a sling and some rocks.

I didn't tell Bro. Dusty what I was planning to say, just that I wanted to say something.  When we got back to our rooms, he told me he wanted to say something first, then I could take over.  When he opened his mouth and started talking, I knew it was a God thing!  We had been teasing him all week about his navigational skills, mostly the U-turns.  In fact we had gotten a glass-marker and written on the back windows of his van:  We may be lost. Watch for U-turns.  At first he had felt bad, but then decided to use it as an illustration.  He was the youth pastor.  He was there to show kids how to make U-turns in their lives.  Because when you are lost, it just might be that you are going in the wrong direction and need to make a U-turn.

When he said that, I almost fell off my stool.  That was EXACTLY the message I was going to illustrate.  The U-turn was Dusty's stick on this trip and he was using it!

I told the group about Shamgar and his stick.  I told them we all had sticks and, like Dusty's, our sticks might just be things that people tease us about.  But God made each of us with certain abilities, certain character traits, certain circumstances and experiences that make us unique.  It's up to us to use what God has given us to get things done for His Kingdom.  We can fight who we are OR we can use who we are.  It's up to us.

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