A few wondering thoughts have been pressing on my heart recently. Every time I am asked for my thoughts aloud or to speak, I seem to forget how to form words with my mouth and it’s as if my mind takes off running in the opposite direction. But of course, these thoughts come back to me later when they’re tired, lonely and hungry. At times like these I cannot seem to focus on much else that well until I at least attempt to write them down or share them with someone.
Along with my dear friend Gii, I have been reading a book called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Every page is truly astounding and I often am greatly impacted and encouraged by the words passing by my eyes. Though I could say much about it without ceasing, one quote in particular stuck out to me whilst reading it today.
“Imagine if the disciples had simply held onto the food Jesus gave them, continually thanking Him for providing lunch for them.”
So many thoughts pass through my mind with these words, more than I could possibly convey through simple words. For in truth, no matter how thankful we are, it is nothing if we do not pass on the gift we have been given in one way or another. The root of what Francis was relaying in this chapter is that giving is useless if the root of it is not love, our lives are useless if they are not rooted in love.
This week has been the first week of day camp this summer, working as a lifeguard and member of the service staff has been truly exhausting but well worth every moment of sweat dripping down my back. If I were to recount every moment that bore significance to me, well, I would have fallen asleep here at the computer by the time morning came around and it was time to leave for church and still not have covered hardly anything. In any case, one particular instance stood out to me. There was a little girl who would come to one of us lifeguards every single day and ask to take the swim test. On the first day, she barely made it a couple feet without struggling to the edge, Tuesday she made it a little further before her strength ran out, Wednesday she almost made it halfway before she couldn’t go any further. Each time she didn’t quite make it, she returned to the shallow end looking dejected, but before too long it would pass and she would be enjoying her time again. It seemed as if she would fill the beginning of each swim time with this disappointment. Thursday, however, she made it. Her determination and practice paid off and she swam all the way to the end of the pool. The encouragement of her counselors and the other staff shone in her eyes. Pressing forward can be hard, it takes a lot of work and training and certainly dedication and if you fail many times before truly coming about it may be embarrassing and disheartening, but oh, is it worth it. Though being able to swim in the deep end may seem like a small feat to many of us, do we even lack the discipline to stick to something such as that? To a child, it is of great difficulty, but a challenge. As Papi shows us things in our future, do we look at them as challenges, or problems? Had she decided that she couldn’t pass the swim test on Monday, never tried again, she would not have known that on Thursday she would succeed. It was not that there was something special about Thursday, but because she tried every day before then, she had built up the endurance to do so. This is but one of many things I have learned from observing a child. It’s amazing to me, those moments in which it turns around so that they are the ones teaching us.
Colossians 2:2-15 “My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
Every moment of the past week has been incredibly humbling, I came across these verses while I was waiting for the campers to come down to the lake for the blue slide. These words are dear to my heart and I strive to let Papi weave them into me, into the life He created me to live so that I may shine His light to others. I hope that we would not forsake them or lose any piece of what they mean. Each child’s smile, every moment with the staff, even the dishes and bathrooms cleaned as well as the long walks from one side of the camp to the other have been used to encourage and humble me, so that I may do the same for others, so that ultimately we may bring all glory to our dear Father in Heaven. His love knows no bounds, His greatness never ends…
“Give me one pure and holy passion
Give me one magnificent obsession
Give me one glorious ambition for my life
To know and follow hard after you
To know and follow hard after you
To grow as your disciple in the truth
This world is empty, pale, and poor
Compared to knowing you my Lord
Lead me on and I will run after you” -One Pure and Holy Passion ~Passion
The lyrics came straight from my heart, though I did not write them myself. If words have ever touched my heart, these surely did. During the last moments of the staff worship service and the laughs and smiles that followed, awe welled up within me along with a pure joy. Though our adventure holds much, we must not lose sight of the One that is above all. As the wind blows and the rain pours, His love goes ever on and His glory is above all..