So you’ve just had the most jam-packed weekend of your life.
Your bag is probably scattered all over your floor, and let’s be honest, will stay like that for a few days. Your wet stuff is starting to stink and over the past couple of days you’ve dodged a million questions from your mum about why you didn’t wear sunscreen and why you have this buzz about you. Monday morning came around and maybe you lay in your bed and thought did that really happen? How could it be over so quick? What’s next? What do I do with this experience? How the heck am I going to tell my friends and family about this? ‘God is real, God loves me, yeah and well, what do I do with that?’ The truth is the adventure starts here. It’s time to start living!!
Maybe you were invited to Summer Camp by a friend, parent or youth minister and thought it would be fun. Maybe you stumbled upon a video or a promo. However you got there, you were there on purpose. God can’t force His way into a person’s life because of His genuine love for us; He delights when we make the choice to pursue Him.
Over the course of the weekend we reflected on the scripture John 10:10:
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, life to the full.”
If you haven’t already, pick up your bible, get your highlighter out and create a rainbow over this verse. If you haven’t got a bible, change that! Let that be your first step of living life to the full and if you need help picking the perfect bible for you, text your small group leader. This empowering verse is like a lighter for the soul. It excites, it makes us curious, it warms us and it opens up the possibility for anything. What does a full life look like to you? Joyful? Inspirational? Radical? All three?
Honestly, every leader on camp (even the ones who looked like they had it all together) has experienced the thief trying to steal an experience like Summer Camp. You might doubt that feeling in prayer teams, or could be confused about what you need to change to make room for your faith. The verse does not say, ‘the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. Jesus waits till that happens and sits back to watch.’ He offers us life to the full!! It’s as simple a choice. You are full of life and passion. That’s how He made you. Just let it happen! So when you can feel the thief stealing your faith. Remember the prayer that always works, “Come, Holy Spirit” and allow God to take you on an adventure through your life.
I limit God all the time. When I was a child I thought, how is it possible for Him to love and know me? He has so many other people to look after in the world. I’ve come to realise God is not limited by a human brain or body. He compliments the laws of nature because they are made in His perfect timing. God is capable of more then we can imagine and He wants to take you on an adventure that lasts for eternity. Ironically, the time I limit God most is directly following an event or camp. I think, ‘I’ve had my God moment, now it’s time to get back to normal life.’
Don’t limit God by thinking His glory only shines on top of the mountain, like in that historical moment of the Transfiguration. This story is so significant that Matthew, Mark and Luke articulated it in their gospels. The Father was determined to send His Son down for greater things, but also, to send the disciples down for their individual adventures still to come. Two thousand and seventeen years later we worship Jesus for the great things He has done and we honour the disciples for being bold and telling the story. God’s plan for you doesn’t stop at Summer Camp. The adventure continues!
The disciples went down and continued to journey with other followers of Jesus. They learnt new skills, curing disease, casting out demons, preaching to thousands. What are you doing to grow in faith? Surely, you’ve heard this said before, but I want you to actually do it… get involved at youth group and go to Mass! It may not be a mountain top experience every time, but it will at least be a hill. Jesus didn’t live on mountains, he lived in valleys, He met people in valleys, and in fact He even spent a lot of time in the desert. When you pray sincerely, God will take you to higher ground and a place of peace.
Other then getting involved with a youth group, getting a bible and going to Mass, here a few other practical ways to start living fully:
- Clean out your room, freshin’ up and cleanse your room of inappropriate posters
- Tell God what you’re feeling. He’s the best friend you’ll ever have
- Create a habit of doing random acts of kindness for others
- Start reading a bible verse a day, start with Luke (He’s a good story teller)
- When all else fails and even when it’s not, message your small group leader.
- Don’t forget you are a part of a brotherhood or sisterhood. Help each other.
Thank you for being you! Thank you for being open to the Holy Spirit! Thank you for saying ‘yes’ to Summer Camp! Now let’s be the generation the world needs! Let’s be kind to our friends, look after the environment, love our families even when it’s hard and allow Jesus to give us a full life!
This article was written by guest writer Ellen Hales, one of our awesome Summer Camp '17 leaders.