I was born in Illinois but my family moved back to California when I was three. So even though I spent the first part of my life in the land of Lincoln, I don’t really remember much about it. In fact, this is only the fourth time I’ve been back since I was three years old. So even though my life began here, Illinois is full of all sorts of new experiences for me.
I’ve never driven through as many cornfields as I have in Illinois.
I’ve never watched the sky blaze with lightning while fireflies danced in front of me.
I’ve never been in as much humidity in the United States as I have this week.
Illinois has been new for me this week, as has the experience of speaking at a camp.
Last week I asked for you to pray for me and my first time speaking at a camp. So far it’s going well and I am very grateful for all of your prayers. It’s been a lot of fun hanging out with students and getting to know counselors. So much of this experience is new, but so much of it feels familiar.
It’s new walking into a group of 83 students that I don’t know. It’s familiar, though, hanging out with a bunch of junior high kids.
It’s new speaking to a group that I’ve never met. It’s familiar, though, telling students about Jesus.
It’s new being “the speaker” and gaining whatever innate respect comes with that role. It’s familiar talking with counselors and sharing crazy camp stories.
Going into this week I expected a lot to feel new, but I didn’t really think about how familiar it would be. I’ve been going to camp since I was 12 years old. And even though I’m in the middle of a cornfield filling a new role, this is still summer camp. There are still campers running around with sunburned cheeks, doing there best to fit in and have a good time. This camp is still everything I’m used to, even if it is an entirely new experience.
I’m also completely familiar with God showing up and moving during camp. As the speaker this week, I feel like I play a bigger role in that than I have before. I need to remember, though, that God is going to do what God is going to do. I don’t need to feel responsible to conjure up God for these campers; God doesn’t need me to do that. I just need to be faithful to the calling that he’s placed on my life and allow him to use me as he sees fit.
I hope and pray that attitude becomes familiar as well.