Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Moments of Conversion: Part 3

Moments of Conversion: Part 3
Riding with Daniel Through the Mountains

Location: Logging roads over the pass between Cloudcroft, NM and Sacramento, NM. July 2004, the last week of being a Christian Summer Camp counselor at a quaint place called Pine Springs.

As a Jr. High students, I wanted to know what peace was. That's a strange thing to not know about and want to understand at that age possibly but it plagued me. I needed to understand and I wasn't quite able to wrap my mind around the concept of peace, primarily inward peace.

On this day, riding with a young man who drove his tank of a truck like a bat outta hell, I realized I finally knew peace.

The summer had been a long hard one. I was there as the compromise with my folks to going to China, but I had fully embraced the opportunity to learn how to do ministry state-side. The other counselors and I had become our own family up in the mountains. We didn't have phone but maybe an hour a week if we were lucky. We had no internet, no McDonald's (or any other outside fast food for that matter), no friends but us. It was strange to be so isolated to the outside world when we were really only about 5 hours from home by car, 3 sometimes by Daniel's truck.

I don't really know what I learned that summer besides, I like Jr. High girls. I loved the weeks when I got to have 18 bubbly girls all over my bed never wanting to go to sleep because they just might miss a minute joking with their buddy. I also learned that some fifth grade girls don't need to be sent off to camp just yet, OR should have been sent out much earlier so they didn't get so attatched to home. Jr. High and I, we did well together. I'm still in touch with that mentality.

At the end of the summer, I didn't have many tangible remains from all the labor of love that went into each and every long difficult day. All my pictures from that summer have now mysteriously disappeared, I have a sweatshirt with the camp's name on it, and more than anything the memories both good and bad.

But what I realized during that fateful drive was that, finally I felt at peace with myself. That finally I had invested myself appropriately, to a task greater than myself, something that would have eternal implications. Lindsey and Daniel were in the front seat (one of the camp flings) while I was alone in the back being tossed violently from side to side missing my own camp fling but able to put that aside to contemplate the moment. This was a heavy moment for all of us. We (Lindsey and I) at one point told Daniel that it would be okay if we died from his driving because we felt like we had truly lived for something. We had just lived completely self-sacrificially for the past three months (24/7) investing ourselves into the lives of hundreds of young people, imparting upon them our passion and what little we understood about the God who loves us more then we could love him back.

And the world was still.
And I understood peace, finally.
It's about investing yourself in others, being self-sacrificial, in hopes that those you have poured into will realize the goal of restoring life and continue the task as in the passing of a baton.

We knew that what had taken place was bigger than ourselves and bigger than we would be able to know this side of eternity but we thanked God for allowing us to be a part of his work that summer.

The conversion part of this story is, this summer was when I experientially realized that I was never going to be able to live the American life of work and family and vacation and suburbia and all that comes with that package. It sounded great but I knew that God didn't create me in a what that would ever find fulfillment in that kind of life. I instead was given the gift of frustration, a wondering spirit, and dissatisfaction. I came to terms with the fact that the only place I'm going to find fulfillment and pleasure is in living on the edge in service to my Lord. I realize that anytime I'm not actively involved in this type of lifestyle I become depressed like I was for so many of my years growing up and begin to hate myself, second guess what I'm doing and my value and completely loose sight of my value in Christ. This summer I realized that I was called to ministry and I couldn't back down from that unless I wanted to suffer in my own psychological prison.

*Some of you may be asking about that boy I mentioned in passing above. Well that's a story for another time, I learned a lot from that one too. He became my first serious boyfriend but it ended badly so like I said, wait for it. I don't feel like going there today.
*Thanks for reading. Leave a comment if you did get this far. Merry Christmas to you all. I'm going home Thursday! (I should be studying now for my test in half and hour)

1 comment:

gerbmom said...

ok - I now realize that one-on-one interaction is better than passively reading this blog.....
I have questions.
And thoughts.
Wanna talk?