How does one even go about describing “the best month” of their life? How do you describe the little piece of heave that is Washington Family Ranch creekside? Jesus was so present this summer! Now I’m not say this summer was without trials, because holy smokes were there ever trials (can you say six weeks of illness anybody?)! But oh how there was so much growth and so much reaffirmation in the plan God is slowly revealing for my life!
It’s kinda crazy to look back even five/six months ago and to see answered prayers! For months I simply prayed for Jesus to align the desires of my heart with his will for me, and this summer has been so evident of his bountiful presence. I feel like I have direction and understand the life I want is one laid down and for my savior to glorify him and a lifelong focus of devotion to service. I see a life of red dirt stained clothes, reliance on faithful prayers, financial uncertainty but a life filled with purposeful intentionality to love the least of these.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 CSB
Mark 10:45 is a typical Young Life verse but doest it so perfectly sum up the mentality and ideology we should all be striving for? Jesus could’ve had anything and everything and yet in his perfect grace he chose to serve others not himself. And he was perfect! If anyone deserved to be served it was Jesus.
My (roughly a) month as PM kitchen summer staff taught me more about hard work, recognition, prayer, and myself than I could’ve ever hoped for. It’s funny how the things you think you can’t do or won’t ever do God has you end up doing. I swear everything I believe I can’t do, like clean nasty floor drains or lift a 50 gallon lexon full of salsa, I end up at least attempting if not also finding the beauty in them!
Young Life truly is so special. Every aspect of camp, and I mean every aspect, has been so carefully thought through and cared about that it makes me speechless. The way that the tables are shaped to the way the bowls with salsa look to the way a bed is made or a camper is greeted is all to give them the best week of their life. Not going to lie…I didn’t understand in the beginning why everything mattered (i’m talking about small stuff like the placement of a fork) especially because this was all for middle schoolers. I mean come on they’re not going to notice if the salsa bowl is dull instead of shiny…But the thing about Young Life is they want to show Jesus, and show the Gospel. They’re not going to sit there and preach telling kids this is what they should believe “or else”. Nope, they want these kids (some who maybe don’t come from the best home lives or are really struggling) to understand just how loved they are by Jesus. They want them to see other’s caring about them in every little teeny tiny aspect, so that they can begin to comprehend just how unbelievably loving and redemptive our God is.
Life’s hard, we all have a story but how willing are we to share it? Sometime’s it feels to me that we’ve replaced real, meaningful, deep, vulnerable conversation with this shallow small talk, because it’s looked down upon to not be this constant image of perfection all the time (and yes that even includes “messing up” perfectly) instead of being authentic and fully yourself. The messy, weird, true, god-given quirks we all have. We’re not meant to do life alone, we’re meant to do it together in fellowship with others.
“Two are better than one, because they have good return for their labor; If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”4:9-10 NIV
Something I definitely learned how to do “better” was pray. I learned to ask those specific prayers and understand that they’ll be fulfilled-just not always in the way I envision them. I learned different ways of making pray more purposeful and a richer experience!
Most importantly I was reminded to keep Christ the center of your life. He is life. He is what sustains us. When you love Jesus and keep him above all else it will all fall into place. That doesn’t mean being a Christian is always easy-far from it. It means that the reward is far greater because we realize the magnificence of our heavenly father and all he paid for our sins. It means while you sacrifice the things the world tells you you need, you gain eternity in the kingdom with the one who loves you most of all.