Goodness GRACEcious

I honestly thought I had a clue about Grace. I found out last week that I didn’t, really know much at all about grace, other than I had received it and occasionally given it. This little story will in no way attempt to explain Grace but instead tell of some of the side-effects.

So I spent this last week being the male group leader for 10 high school Juniors and seniors from around the state. All together there were about 200 kids at this camp. It never ceases to amaze me, how powerfully God works at this camp every year. It is also amazing, how very different each and every group is, each and every year. They all “get it” at different points. They all gel as a group at different points. The consistent thing is how quick they do those things once one of them has born their soul to the group. That is usually followed by the others bearing theirs.

It takes a village of speakers or maybe just the one who has “The Story” you need to here or both. It would be nearly impossible to have provided a larger variety of life experiences regarding Grace, in our speakers each day. I could see that each speaker had an impact on the kids but when one shared a story close to “their own life”. They really picked something up from that.

I learned that sometimes, experience can hamper your ability to learn. For most of the kids in my group, this was there second or third time at Kadesh (name for the high school camp). Thinking they were old pros, they thought they new at just what point, the group should “go deep” and gel. They became overly focused on that instead of just learning in the moment. Not to worry though, they were unable to foil God’s plan. I will admit that I began to question things two days before camp’s end. I know that my job is to plant seeds and I have zero control over how much they are watered, what the quality of the soil is and when they sprout. I was beginning to think they wouldn’t sprout til after camp and that is OK because it isn’t up to me. It is up to the Gardener.

Thursday however, turned out to be “the day”. One of my favorite things about Kadesh, is their ability to drive home a point with an exercise involving physical participation. Between the speaker, the physical exercise and powerful praise, the tears fell like rain. The hearts of my kids were gently broken. Each time one broke down crying, I knew, “they got it”. It was as if the little light bulb above their heads was tear activated. It was just a few hours earlier they were all professing, they just didn’t get it. I was shaking my head because being a parent explains grace to you quite well but you can’t make copies of that experience and just pass it out like a pamphlet.

Seeing them get it and the extent to which they got it, assisted me in “getting it” more than I ever had before. The praise and worship time that night was the loudest, most enthusiastic I have ever witnessed and or participated in. I don’t know about the others but it was a big help to me that the mantra everyday at praise time was “If you sing badly, sing louder”. Those of us who do sing badly, sang louder and it sounded awesome.

I was blessed to witness a couple of baptisms while there. That said, the coolest part by far was when we had a two hour session with just kids from our church, which incidentally makes up about half the camp. We have an incredible youth program. Anyway, when our kids shared with one another, things got real deep and real honest, real fast. The sharing was great but when our youth minister opened things up at the end and told the kids “for the next ten minutes I want you to give a hug to someone if you “need their forgiveness”, “need to forgive them” or anything in between. 10 minutes just didn’t cut it. For the next 20 minutes people were walking all over the room, hugging, crying and mending. The ones that got me the most were two sisters hugging each other and crying their eyes out. It was a very special moment that I hope to never, ever forget.

Should you ever be concerned about our future because you doubt today’s youth. Come spend two weeks with me next summer and you will rest easier.

If Grace is an ocean, we’re all drowning!

Peace,
T

This entry was posted on Monday, July 1st, 2013 at 7:45 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

 

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