For the first 23 years of my life the first week of August has always meant one thing: Prairie Camp. This will be the first year that I am not actively involved with it (although I will be visiting on Friday and Saturday). The great thing about Prairie Camp, and many other camps as well, is the availability it gives someone to get away from it all and refocus on what matters the most-our relationship with God, our character, our mission, in essence-who we are, what we do, and why we do it.
Camp was always a refreshing time because of the friends I shared it with, but more importantly because of the extra time I shared with God and learning about him.
A preacher I greatly respect was discussing the importance of rest and how if we go non-stop we will be far less effective then if we take time to rest, rejuvenate, and be re-fed new insights from God. Camp was one way to get that.
So often people lose sight of the fact that it is the quality of time you spend with people and not the quantity. We must make time for ourselves so that when we are with others we will be more effective.
Jesus was the ultimate example of this. He poured his heart out all the time to the people, but he always made sure he had time for solitude with the Father. Without that solitude we can become lost and missionless in our lives.
That preacher said: "The reason Jesus was so good at withness was because he was great at awayness." That's a bold statement, but it's true. He was great with the people because he was great at finding time to rest and be alone with God. He maximized withness by maximizing awayness and not the other way around.
What do you need to rest and get away from in order to make sure you are staying charged and focused? You have to be willing to fight for that time that everyone needs to have in solitude and rest so that we can hear our calling/purpose and enjoy our one on one time with God.
Super quick shot-out of great times at camp.
Anything and everything done with Bobby, Mark, and Ryan (insert 1000 different stories).
The camp wide indian chants that we started (and were punished for).
Countless "sneaking out" stories.
Great bball moments in the gym...left handed knock out, getting stitches, beating former NBA player Bay Forrest (granted he was 45 years old).
Home Run Derby-Willie Mays style with Wertz, Silveus, and company.
Countless hours in the Franklin's cabin.
Waking up Amy three hours after everyone else had awaken.
Yearly "scary movie" trips.
Euchre, Euchre, Euchre.
Service project days and off-campus trips to parks and beaches.
Star Wars theme with the Derry Prenkert.
Preaching of Bob Laurent and Dennis Enbrecht.
and many other great memories with other great people....Nick, the Sabo brothers, Rob, Breann, Cheryl, Peter, Phil Fletcher, Joe Wright, Heidi, Stacy, anyone from St. Mark because their youth group was way better than mine, and many others...