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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Youth Camp: 4-week Perspective

Today I was looking again at the pictures I took at camp. I look at them over and over because I want to be reminded of the great time we had and all that took place. I want to get a glimpse of the great spirit that was there all week. Pure and innocent.

It's been four weeks since we got back from camp. The first two weeks I was doing really good; many teens in our youth group were excited about serving God and it kind of spilled over into the whole church for a time. We had zeal! I wanted to hold onto that excitement so bad because I guess in the back of my mind I knew it wouldn't last forever . . . but I wanted it to. I thought that if I read my Bible enough, prayed enough, and stayed away from wickedness as much as possible then I would be eager to serve God every day and I would always be filled with an abundance of love for Christ. And I tried to do just that.

But it didn't work.

Once I was back from camp I had to go back to work. That meant I heard cussing (thankfully, it's not very often), I saw immodest dress, I saw lots of attitude, I saw coldness towards anything Godly, I heard worldly music when I went into the grocery store and restaurants, I was tempted to turn the TV on, and I was encouraged to just do what feels right. I no longer went to church twice a day, I didn't listen to 3-4 sermons within 24 hours, I wasn't around many Christians, I wasn't in an atmosphere that shunned County music and cussing, I didn't have the chance to pray with 10-60 like minded Christians throughout the day, I wasn't in a place that encouraged girls to dress modest, and I wasn't constantly reminded to read my Bible and pray. I was no longer at Bible camp and it was evident!

The first day that I didn't feel like spending 30 minutes in prayer I was discouraged. Only two weeks and already I'm slacking? But then I started thinking about an illustration a preacher once gave. Did you know that before the flood there was a canopy of water that surrounded the earth? This canopy would shield off any harmful radiation that came from outer space. This meant that people would live much longer. This makes sense when you realize that Adam lived to be 930 years old and Methuselah lived 969 years, yet after the flood the age expectancy dropped dramatically. It is also believed that plants also thrived and grew much larger and stronger all because of the environment they were in.

That's kind of how I think of camp verses the world we live in every day. At camp we are shielded from as much wickedness as possible. No TV, no secular music, no immodest dress, etc. Because we are not exposed to those sinful attractions we are free to live for God to the greatest extent. Christians should thrive in that kind of atmosphere. But once that shield is broken we have to live in a totally different atmosphere that effects every part of our lives.

But this doesn't mean that we should give into the struggles of this world and live for Christ half-heartedly. It just means that we have to try harder. Christian living isn't being given to us like it was at camp so we have to get it our self.  It isn't as easy, but it can be done. We may not be as excited, but we still need to serve God with everything that we have. We have to read our Bible and pray when we don't feel like it, we have to make our self smile when we're singing at church, and we have to go out of our way to seek what God wants us to do.

And as always . . . be reminded of the good days at camp.

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