Contributions from an 8 Year Old….(Camp Exalted)

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This week, a unique experience at Camp Exalted was had.  Many lessons were learned both from the study, the teaching of the Word and the Applying of His message to everyday life.

What a wonderful morning it was.  Blessed by two outstanding messages form the 7th & 8th Grade deans, I returned to my room to find it cool to the skin, and the bed made well.  Impressed that the camp had turn down service to the rooms, I felt extra blessed! CampExalted

The next day, the same routine.  Blessed to find the excellent service of the team from Camp Copass.  Time for a quick shower, opening to door only to have my smile dashed by the site of this mornings towels.  I found it hard to hard to believe that the team did such a marvelous job on the beds and living facility, and neglected the bathroom.  On top of that, the trash cans weren’t empty.  I just couldn’t understand why they would do only half of the job.  Though I had the mind to file a complaint, I thought just to be thankful for the portion being done.

campcopassI pressed on Wednesday to lunch, only to find myself in conversation with my roommate, whose 8 year old daughter was brought to camp each day by a family member, which said, “you know my daughter has been making our beds each day?”  She sat eating with us.  I thanked her for making the bed. Her response, “You’re welcome; I like making beds!”

Completing lunch, Rev. Cotton offered to take the trays up from our meal.  An Elder, we all insisted that we take his tray to display our respect for his contributions to the Kingdom, only to be denied.  He spoke, “I used to work these camps.  I know how much work goes into teaching, preaching and counseling at these camps.  The least I can do is take your trays.  Let me serve.  Yall get back to work!”

The next morning, I stood next to the bed, and began to make up the bed.  I was impressed, but didn’t want an 8 year old cleaning up after me.  Surely, I should remove this task from her hands so that she can enjoy moments as a kiddo.  As I finished making the bed, I began to think about Rev. Cotton.  He was adamant about adding to the camp and making our jobs easier.  he just wanted to contribute in any way he could.  What if this young lady felt the same way?  Maybe the way I could say show my appreciation was by saying thanks, and not by denying her the opportunity to show and perfect her skills?

I unmade the bed, and left the room, returned before lunch to find the beds made again.  It was more impressive knowing that her hands had made the bed.  I stood there in amazement, thinking, her skills were so impressive, that I assumed that housekeeping had been there.  Though it was my responsibility, she was selfless, and willing to make right, what I had left wrong, not just once, but everyday.

I thought about our Lord, who often works behind the scenes.  His hands make right things that we have left undone.  He serves us and shows His love for us when we are undeserving.  He aides us in our journey, often doing things to bring us assurance and happiness, even when we haven’t requested us.  He does it not for the thanks or recognition, but just to display His love for us!  Thus the very least we can do is say thanks.

Yet foolishly, many of us would focus on the trash can and the towels.  And as opposed to praising Him and giving thanks, would have a mouth filled with complaints, when the conviction of leaving a task undone should not only cause us to give thanks, but should compel us to wash the towels and take out the trash.

Furthermore, we must learn to not only appreciate the gifts of others, but must afford others the opportunity to serve in whatever capacity they can contribute.  In service, we learn much about ourselves, others and God.  There are also moments that we need to create opportunities for people to serve.  The thought of leaving something undone bothers us all, but the knowledge that someone could use this experience to grow must give us all comfort.  Truly, the Lord and displays this by putting our hands to the plow.  Though it would be nothing for God to appear to the World individually to share the Gospel, He allows us to have the honor of baring witness to others, and keeps our hands busy to the plow making and developing disciples.

I am grateful for the efforts of this amazing young lady.  The future of the church is bright.  I includes amazing young people like her, who desire to serve, have a grateful heart, are willing to serve, and look forward to their contribution impacting the entire world!

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