.POST-WEEK-#2. So here we are again. We staffers watched the second group of vans and buses packed with students and pastors pull away this morning: the end of week #2. And we stay behind to think and prepare for our final week.
If you want a bouncy recap of what to expect from camp this year, try the post before this one (“Week #1: Mission Completed”). But right now, let’s talk about this phenomenon called the Mountaintop Experience.
.THE HIGHS. Ever heard of it before? We camp counselors see it happen a lot here during camp. After all, Skycroft is literally on a mountain—apart from the rest of the world, away from work, school, difficult relationships, money issues, family problems… And during reCharge, we “recharge” by worshipping Jesus, serving, being with other believers, and having fun all week. Who wouldn’t want to do that all the time? In the Psalms, David talks about these moments of great celebration and joy in walking with God, because circumstantially, things are going well. The mountains are gorgeous, green, and sunny. Your youth group is practically family, playing pranks in the lodges, playing paintball, ziplining, jumping wholeheartedly into worship and missions. You are “on fire” for Jesus.
.THE LOWS. But take the latter part of Psalm 23: there are valleys, many filled with darkness or just desert stretches. You’re only here for a week. You have to leave the mountain eventually, just as the students left this morning. And then comes real life. Do we stop worshipping God because it is no longer in line with our emotions? Do we stop following His Word because it is no longer admirable or exciting to set aside time to read back home? Do we stop seeking after His presence because there is no one else to jump and holler with us?
The Mountaintop Experience is one of surplus emotion and energy. It is the peak of the roller coaster ride and the fast decline with the wind rushing past you, a cold roar in your ears. But God did not call us to live solely for these emotional highs. We were called to follow and serve despite hard, upsetting, or even just plain boring “valley circumstances.”
.RACE ENDURANCE. Proverbs 24:10 reads, “If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!” If we choose to follow Jesus only when our situation makes it easy, then we’re not really following Jesus. We’re doing just that: the easy thing. Paul calls us to finish the race with endurance. I want to challenge you, first- and second-week campers and campers who have yet to join us, don’t settle for the easy thing when the race gets “too long,” “too hard,” or “too boring.” This proverb does not urge us to consistency and endurance by our own power but by His. Turn to God (continually) for the strength to stand strong in times of trouble—before, during, and after camp.
.WHAT’S IN A NAME. It’s called “reCharge” for a reason. Think of your time on the mountain—spiritually, physically, emotionally—as a training time, a rejuvenating season. And for those of you who don’t know Christ yet, as a new beginning. But if the only time you plugged your iPhone into the power outlet was Sunday morning, you wouldn’t have a functioning phone six days out of the week. So just think about it. Being a Christian is not always easy, especially at home. But following Christ the truest, most satisfying existence we could ever know.
For those who’ve left, keep chasing after the Lord. He is running out to meet you. And as for you third-week peeps, begin preparing your heart for a season of reconnection and excitement. We can’t wait to see you!