I had a good time last week at a favorite camp of mine. It is a joy in which I am still basking. Every once in a while I get to speak/teach/preach to students, which is something I always enjoy. It was a great week. God was present. The kids responded to Him in Worship. It was a good time of spiritual nourishment plus adolescent jokes about biological functions (this is, of course, the only place that these two can symbiotically flourish).
I’m still realizing just how seismic the high school experience is. Major decisions are made in these years; trajectories are set and patterns are established. In the sovereignty and grace of God, students will often experience a trajectory shift at a summer camp where faith and trust are put in the right place. I find myself praying about this before, during, and after a week long experience. Today is no different. I’m praying about a kid that I talked to about the possibility of being held back a year and repeating 10th grade. I remember the girl that talked to me about how her mom hasn’t been the same since Grandma died. I replay the conversation that I had with someone who was struggling with really deep and dark stuff (sin). And I remember the guy who considers himself a religious mix of everything, since that’s what his parents are (buddhist + christian + whatever).
Some students leave a camp and go back to a very unfavorable spiritual environment. But the Holy Spirit can work and remind and open eyes in ways that even the most dynamic and convincing speaker never could. That’s pretty much what I find myself relying on right now as I remember last week and look forward to a couple more camps this summer. I don’t remember being so burdened for something like this before.