One of my favorite aspects of my job is collecting summer camp stories. Not only do I love a good story, but it’s is always so encouraging to hear firsthand how the Lord is constantly at work changing and shaping lives.
So encouraging, in fact, that I can’t help sharing some of my favorites with y’all! Here is one gem I gathered from a staffer this past summer at camp.
We (two summer staffers) were walking up from the gym one night after TP, using the rock pathway.
Little Girl: “Man, I wonder how these rocks got here.”
Staffer: “I don’t know.”
Little Girl: “Probably from the flood.”
Staffer: “Maybe God placed them here because he knew there would be a camp here someday!”
Till this day, it will forever be the Noah’s Ark Trail!
I love this story! To me it demonstrates so perfectly how camp is all about seizing the little moments. It would have been so easy for those two summer staffers to shrug aside the little girl’s question with a smile and a nod, and just kept on walking and dreaming of bedtime. Instead, they saw the opportunity offered by a child’s wonder and started her thinking about God and how He is all-knowing and all-powerful!
In my day, I’ve led a good number of trail rides. And when the sun’s beating down on you, and you’re taking what feels like your hundredth ride of the week, it’s pretty easy to get lulled into sleepy silence by the steady swaying of the horse. So I started swinging around in the saddle to chat with the kids behind—thankfully, my horse has taken all the camp trails so many times, he could walk them blindfolded.
Once I started doing that, I can’t tell you how many times the Lord opened opportunities for me to share the Gospel, talk to campers about what they’d been learning that week at camp, pray for them, or even work on memory verses.
And it made me wonder, how many opportunities did I miss before?
Programming is great. Having set times to talk about God’s Word—like Mystery Prophets and Bible Drama and Campfires—is a huge part of what makes camp work. But sometimes, the little moments are just as important as the big programmed events, and the little opportunities are the ones we need to grasp before they slip away.
If we can just open our eyes to see them.
One verse that comes to mind is Colossians 4:5-6 “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (emphasis added)
This is my prayer for you and me today. That we will see and act upon the opportunities God places before us, and that we won’t miss out on the little moments He gives us while waiting for the big events.