Monday, June 30, 2008


As I come off of a week of counseling 7 amazing girls, I am struck by responsibility. Parents trusted me with their children - to teach them, counsel them and take care of them. For 6 days I was to be their main caretaker. It's a great way to test out parenting :-) But what a responsibility! What if I told them the wrong thing? What if I wasn't there when I needed to be? What if I couldn't find the words to say? What if, what if, what if.

If we let the what ifs run our life, we will be severely hindered from doing what it is that God wants us to do. Yes, we run into situations where we are over our heads. Yes, we run out of words to say. But God works through that. And it is when God works that we make an impact.

When I start getting myself ready for counseling, I am pumped. I know it is going to be a great week and that everything is going to go smoothly and perfectly. I pack my bag with everything I need and try to anticipate what my girls are going to be like. I plan how the week is going to go. And then as time gets closer and closer the knot in my stomach grows. Last Sunday I was sitting on the Snak Shak porch, waiting to receive my campers. A large part of my was psyched up and ready to go. A small part of me was praying that for some reason none of my campers could come to camp so I could step back into my comfort zone. And then my name comes over the loudspeaker and I go to meet my first camper. There is no turning back!

As I met my girls I tried to get a feel for who they were and what they needed from me. Some just needed love. Lots and lots of love. Others needed questions answered. Others needed a fun person who they felt comfortable being themselves with. Others needed a little more direction. They were all different. They all came from different homes with different problems. Everyone's story is unique onto them and so they need to be met where they are at that time, not where I want them to be or where society thinks they should be. Throughout the week I spent time with them, talking with them, and just being there for them. I was there to make sure they took their vitamins and took showers. I was there to cheer them on when they were nervous about doing an activity or acting in the drama. I was to answer any questions they might have about God. I was there.

Which brings me to the word impact. How exactly do we impact people? What can we do that makes a difference in peoples lives? Can we preach a great sermon and change their lives? Absolutely! Can we run a camp where the fun never stops and lives get changed? Absolutely! But what is it that people remember the most?

When campers come back year after year the first thing they ask is where their counselor from the past years are. When Trail's End staff go to churches to promote camp they are met by excited kids who are expecting their counselor to be there. We get letters throughout the year addressed to counselors from their campers. Kids spell love T-I-M-E. And it's the counselors that put in the time. It's the counselors (for the most part) who have the chance to make the biggest impact on the kids.

So I guess what I'm trying to express is that if we are looking to make an impact for God (which quite honestly should be every Christian's goal) we need to be willing to invest in people. We need to be willing to spend time with them and love them. We need to get our hands dirty. We need to be open to doing what it is that God wants us to do! So, what does God want you to do?

blog comments powered by Disqus