Geographically, camp is the spot that has seen the most humbling of my moments.
The summer after I hurt my hands, when I couldn’t do many things for myself, and had to (gulp!) ask for help and realize I couldn’t do everything myself.. and I resented it and was stubborn and was not a very nice co-worker. Ask Val.
When I couldn’t handle riding a horse. A calm, old, docile camp horse. With everything going on in my family that summer it was all just too much. Instead I sat on the old manure spreader w/ Mr. Bryan and we talked and he told me some things I remember clearly to this day. And Autumn brought me her leftover onion rings because that is what good friends do.
Mornings I forced myself to get up earlier than everyone, to be better than everyone, and of course all the resulting times I failed at that ridiculous goal of perfection.
When I apologized to Kaleb for imposing all my wisdom of “how to do his job” upon him. That was just last summer.
When I underlined Galatians 5:15 in my Bible (“If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”) This would be after a particular stretch of evening card games in which the tired yet highly competitive staff girls got a tad sharp with each other, just only “joking” of course… oh dear. After that we switched to watching movies for a while. Haha.
Dozens of times I’ve been too sick (I tend to get bad allergies at camp) to do what I needed to do.. and failed people.. and maybe melted down in a hoarse, frustrated mess.
Those times where I soooo wanted my campers to win at something.. and they didn’t… and my competitive nature did not like that. I know I’ve said some totally childish things to rival counselors in those moments!
When I was not enough. When I did not get it right. When I lost patience. When I was absolutely exhausted, hot, dirty, brain dead, and still had 2 days of camp left to get through. (This is typically when I admit I have to rely on God’s strength, and He never fails to help me.)
And this summer, when I am not the one heroically cooking bacon, but instead these adorable camp interns who I love dearly get that job:
It’s a hot, smelly, exhausting task, perfect for interns, so why am I jealous? Because I want to always be the one who helps with everything. So embarrassing! (And also because I sorta wanted to draw another baconometer… oh well.)
Camp never fails to bring out the possessive, competitive, small-minded perfectionist in me.
It has been my summer home for like 9 years now. And home is where reality surfaces. Our cool, nice, mature selves may live there, but so do our guard-down, needs-a-shower, crabby, prideful, disappointing selves.
I’ve been stretched and reshaped at my home on this patch of very flat land. I must not be perfect yet cause here I go again!
Camp is where I’ve learned the most about grace. Giving it, and needing it desperately.
(Photo stolen from Janelle.)