At some point in time during camp, after a temporary but large thunderstorm moved through the camp, someone in the group decided it would be a good time to take the kids on a hike to "the lighted cross." Wisdom and judgement tossed aside, the four of us (counselors) said, "Okay." After all, we were equipped with flashlights (every kid brought one). With the main trail wet, we had to take an alternate trail not familiar to everyone, and it was growing dark. So, sure, why not? Let's do this thing.
So, off we went, hiking along a trail with Austin (Ratke), the more experienced camper in the group in the lead, and me, the least experienced at camp but someone who runs and hikes, in the rear to take care of those toward the rear. Austin's voice, distinct, was ever present as we hiked our way up to the rim of the canyon overlooking the camp. My name was familiar by this point because Austin called it at least a dozen times for help and to think through our next steps. There was only one precarious spot on the trail and that was a step up that was about six feet in height which required assistance from me and the song leader, Tim, who joined us on this hike (he was my age).
Once we reached the lighted cross, we prayed a prayer of thanksgiving and asked for safe return. I told Austin that Tim and I would go back to the point that required assistance to be ready for the kids. As we walked, to the point, I noticed Tim was not using a flashlight (oh yes, I was). You need light? I asked Tim. No, he said, using night vision. By this point, my eyes had adjusted to the use of the light from a flashlight, but Tim followed the trail true to its form until we were about 10 feet from the dropoff, then he turned on his flashlight.
The opportunity did not go unmissed. "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." (Psalm 119:104) We were safe and always had been safe despite the fact the conditions were not ideal. God had literally given us light for our path and we turned to his Word to ask for safety, his Son Jesus Christ, as Austin prayed at the top of the climb near the cross.
When do we allow God to lighten our path and when do we decide to go it alone? "Sorry God, I don't need you, I can do this?" The kids heard us pray and saw us work together as a team, which was part of the theme of camp as we go out in the world proclaiming the love of Christ.
Pray we are in constant prayer with God and that we know we can and do turn to him at all times, not just when we are in the valleys of life. Pray a prayer of thanksgiving that God listens to our prayers and answers them in his time.
Hope Men's Ministry