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The Best Place on Earth

July 18, 2014

I first set foot on the grounds of Waypost Camp in 1981. I was a shy kid with a speech impediment and a broken arm. I had already come to realize, in the way that five-year-olds realize things, that I wasn’t always going to fit in or be the cool kid. The speech impediment, in particular, made things challenging and would continue to do so for years to come. This is the sort of thing that singles one out on the playground, that makes one an “other.”

And then, Waypost. And with Waypost, God.

It’s not, I’m sure, that unique of a story. Bible Camp is where people who don’t belong find suddenly, and amazingly, and often to our surprise that we do belong. Not because we suddenly “fit in” but because camp isn’t about fitting in; it’s about learning about how God loves us just because he does. That God loves us enough to create a place like Waypost (and any number of other beautiful outdoor ministry settings). That God loves us enough to con gifted college kids into basically giving their summers away for the sake of the gospel. That God loves us, period, and that we are his children for the sake of Jesus Christ.

Somehow, I’m not sure I would have ever learned these things if Waypost – or places like it – didn’t exist.

I left camp in 1981 after a wonderful week. I still had a speech impediment. My arm was still busted. I was still shy. But something new had started.

My family would come back to camp several times throughout the years. I would be a Pioneer, and then, after a lull, a Confirmation Camper, and then a Yetter. Eventually, God would con me into giving my four college summers away at camp (two at Waypost and two at Pine Lake, both part of Crossways Camping Ministries). And from there, seminary and into the future. Yeah, the kid with the speech impediment now talks for a living. Believe me, God’s a funny guy.

In a couple days, I’ll bring my family over for some time at Waypost. I’ll be there for two weeks, working with Y.E.T., an intensive, two-week discipleship program for high school youth. I can’t wait to see the sunset behind the Chi Rho. I’m thrilled to feel the breeze on the green pagoda (wait – is it still green? is it still there?). I wonder which songs are still kicking from the old days. I can’t wait to hop into a canoe with my almost-five-year old and paddle around Mission Lake as she soaks in God’s love, to sings songs of praise to Jesus as my two-year old dances in his goofy, joyful way, to hold our infant as we hear again the story of Jesus.

I’m thankful to be spending a chunk of my sabbatical at camp, the Best Place on Earth. My life, for one, would not look anything like it does had my parents not dragged us to Waypost in the summer of 1981. For this, and for camps everywhere, I thank God.

From → Sabbatical 2014

One Comment
  1. Pastor Fred & Mary Hubert permalink

    Amen to church camps!

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