I did not get the camp high. I went away this weekend. A beautiful place, Washington Family Ranch. A property owned by Young Life in Central, OR. The peace and tranquility of the mountains raised up and surround you, the open blue skies, the birds whistling in the back round. The awe and wonder of God's glory in the community of those who seek to know and walk closer to God. I did not get the camp high.
When I was 17 years old I sat under the teaching of a Young Life leader and team. I was part of the leader meetings and the direction of being a leader was laid out through God's word. Go and be with kids. Love them. Accept them and let your life be the example of Jesus that they would want to follow. As best as I know how with the HELP of the Holy Spirit I did that. Not just in Young Life, but with my own children, my friends, and my family and strangers in passing. Now fast forward 30 years. I listen to a man share the message of Covenant Relationships. As he spoke the tears started to spill. Quiet tears of understanding his message. Quiet tears of knowing that the loving I have done over the years, at times very painful was not lost on the clear message of Jesus as he sent his disciples out. That same man, who lead by example 30 years ago was standing before me teaching the same message. A bit more calm, some gray hair and his passions much deeper. A man, who like many of us has had to experience the pains this life dishes out, yet the message of Jesus still the same. Go and be with people.
As I sat there, I would look over at my daughter sitting next me. As the tears continued, a dear friend to my left put her arm around my shoulder. No words needed to be exchanged as I was moved to such a deep part of my heart.
"The surprise of Jesus' teaching is it was not enough to love God, but to love your neighbor as yourself."
He pointed out that when the business man asked Jesus what is the one commandment, Jesus' answered that one question, but then continued with the next important part of this first answer. Loving your neighbor.
The conflicts between believers is quite frankly a disgrace to the very essence of what it means to follow Jesus. That one thought had tears streaming down my cheeks. Thirty years of walking with Jesus, and doing my best to love my neighbor and failing over and over, and yet my heart expands so much, always making room for one more to love. Loving, even when it gets hard and messy. I love what the speaker, Jeff Vancil, said, "If you want to play baseball you have to get in the batter's box, and sometimes you might get hit". Relating that statement to relationships.
Love my neighbor has myself, important to Jesus to include it along the greatest commandment to Love the Lord your God. Saton is so good at dividing relationships. You ever notice it's the important ones he works the hardest at dividing. Yet, as we seek to go and be with our neighbor there is beauty and there is hope and there is cleaning up, sometimes of our messiness in those friendships. I did not get the camp high. Instead my heart went to deeper places in walking with Jesus. Much better than a camp high.
Dear Lord Jesus, You give us the gift of example. Thank you, Elizabeth