I keep catching myself cringing at the word “unprecedented,” having a harsh, adverse response to those five syllables. After the last four months, that word strikes with the heaviness and awkwardness of a soccer ball to the face. (I work in camp ministry, I know the feeling all too well.)
The more I hear that word or others associated with it, such as unforeseen, unknown, or risk mitigation, I feel the caring, helpful nature of my inner self sheltering away from the world that seems all too hard. It’s not as though I no longer care, nor that I don’t wish to help, my capacity at this moment is merely far less than I wish it to be.
I find myself being frustrated by the apparent lack of problems I single-handedly can solve as if solving the issues of the world over a cup of coffee is that rudimentary or within my understanding. It’s a daunting and overwhelming task to solve the world’s problems alone, with only a grade six education on the political system of Canada and even less so of that in the United States. I also find myself continually being facetious in the midst of serious issues.
I, along with other summer camp staff, forget to spend time in the presence of the Lord during the hectic and chaotic nature of the summer season, which has been heightened in our current circumstance. I often need a reminder to do so, to find the time, to seek the Lord first, and to put my relationship with Him first. Not after dinner, not tomorrow, not after the kids are gone and asleep. First.
As easy as that is to say, when I find myself in the middle of a Camp Session, the applicability seems much more monumental in scale. However, this week I was able to take time, to reflect, to be humble before Him and be grateful for the job He invites me into.
It says in Matthew 6: 33 “But, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
I started the next day after reading through this passage, intending to seek God in my day. I started my day, coffee in hand, talking to the children during a chapel session about Noah and the Ark. Each child, young and full of energy, optimism, and curiosities. It was apparent they weren’t worried about the systemic and economic repercussions of a global pandemic. They were laughing gleefully at the fact that I, the speaker, was spraying someone with water to demonstrate the floodwaters in the story. They then proceeded to ask questions and listen intently to the answers. They were excited to learn more about God.
We had about 20 children at this chapel session, a number less than half of what we are accustomed to. This number would be easy to look at and say, “well, why bother?” That day, as I sprayed water on a staff member who has given their summer to foster growth and fun for any child who attends Covenant Bay Bible Camp, I was reminded of a single infallible truth. Our God, who is good, understands the problems more than I ever could. He guides my steps and has never asked me to solve the world’s problems. He has asked me to care for those around me, to seek Him first in my everything, and follow His lead.
This prompting to seek seems almost childlike to me. The idea that a child will look gleefully behind every curtain and cupboard before eventually finding the other players in any such game. I am reminded that in my relationship with God, I strive to be more childlike, more obedient, less critical.
So, although the word “unprecedented” tends to send shivers down my spine, I recognize that the unpredictability of the season isn’t all bad. God is catching me off guard once again with the lessons I am learning, but as I seek Him, I continue to find contentment, peace, and even a childlike glee as I get excited to discover him in my everyday.