Sunday, July 08, 2007

Hey There Blog! Long Time No See!

So, five weeks at camp and it is finally my week off. I'll admit that I thought I would be blogging a bit more during these past weeks, and to be honest, I did have the time. However, I found that during the free time I had, the only thing I wanted to do was sleep, and so that's what I did.

Even if I did have time to blog, I'm not sure what I would be blogging about. I am so far removed from everything at camp, and believe it or not I really like it that way. All the "issues" that usually keep me busy are miles away. When I do have a chance to go online, I'm catching up on e-mails with friends, and I haven't turned on a television in five weeks. So, I'm a little behind on what's been going on.

For instance, that whole "Live Earth" concert thing that went on yesterday: I had no idea that was happening, though I assume there was probably just as big a hullabaloo about it as there was for "Live 8" a few years ago. The only difference, I suppose, was that I cared about and was really excited for "Live 8," but I didn't really care about missing "Live Earth" at all. After all, who needs a concert to be concerned about the state of our planet's fragile climate?

Actually, I'm removed from a lot more at camp. Every waking moment is about the kids there, and there is so little time for myself. I suppose it's exhausting, but at the same time it's freeing. All those identities and labels that people hold close to their lives don't matter at all there: liberal, conservative, gay, straight, Southern, Northern, small-town, big-town, etc. After all, the kids don't care about my opinions on controversial, divisive issues. They don't care what I think about what's going on in the Middle East or who should be the next president. They just want me to help them have a good time, and that's really all I want, too.

The only identity that has been of any use at camp is that of a follower of Christ (I won't even use the term Christian because that identity has a lot of unnecessary baggage with it, too). Perhaps that's the way it should be, because it is the only identity and label that matters. That's not to say that having other identities is a bad thing. I'm still a conservative gay small-town Southern boy, but who cares? When I'm sailing with my campers, teaching them to kayak, or leading them in a worship service, those things don't matter at all. Christ matters, and I'm so thankful that I've had this opportunity to just get away and focus on Him.

It's funny, really. I feel closer to Christ even though I haven't been doing any extensive reading in my Bible or any theological pondering. I've just been working with children. That's why I love working with kids. The constant giving of yourself that is required is something that helps put you in closer contact with Christ's person. By no means is it a perfect method. There are times when I don't feel like giving so much and I just want to give up. However, I find when I'm exhausted at the end of the day, but can still remember all the joy that I had the chance to witness, then I can feel God next to me stronger than I've ever felt Him before. I hope you all can have similar experiences.

4 comments:

MR said...

Yes! For me the best way to be close to God and happy is to keep giving of myself. Mostly it is giving personal worship to God, but also wholeheartedly serving others like you served the kids.

The fastest way to be UN-happy is to be self-absorbed, thinking about what I want and can't have.

Keep working with kids! They and you will both benefit.

Brandon said...

Jay,

It's good to hear from you. I'm so glad your summer is going well, and that you're being able to positively influence all those kids.

What you described about working with them is what I always enjoyed about working with kids. They don't care about all the grown up issues--they just want to have fun. You can be yourself around them and not have to worry.

Keep making a difference, Jay, and God bless you.

Brandon

Pomoprophet said...

Jayman!

You've got it. You've figured it out! To serve is to love God. The rest of it really doesn't matter. It's only a shame that most of our lives can't be as simple. Thats the fault of our society. Christians all over the world are leading simple lives where they simply live and love. I envy them in a sense. Working with kids is great. I'm so glad you get to experience it and that one day you'll be joining me in the ranks of teachers who follow Christ!

Ben said...

I am reminded of Jesus' love for children and his rather radical statements about them ("...and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these"; "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me" - 19th century "children should be seen and not heard" wisdom being rebuked nearly two millenia ago!)