At a recent club, I sat listening as my co-worker told the story of getting ready for our spring break middle school Adventure Camp.  I was the camp director, and I left town several days before our group, so I didn’t walk through these things with him, nor had I heard the story.

It seemed like everything that could go wrong did – last-minute paperwork, red tape for things that usually don’t have red tape, a broken phone (kinda important if you’re the trip emergency contact person), 15-minute errands that for unknown reasons take 3 hours.  If you are my co-worker, that adds up to a day filled with stress when you really, really needed alone time to chill with God and mentally prepare for a week with 30 middle schoolers and some wet-behind-the-ears leaders.

I smiled as I listened.

See, I was experiencing some of the same stresses on my end.  Last-minute paperwork, last-minute changes, a car that broke down, supplies that didn’t fit well into vehicles, missing travel details, non-functioning internet – it seemed like everything that could go wrong did.  When I really needed to be able to focus on our camp staff, I was neck-deep in details that needed quick answers and demanded my attention.

And then Josiah’s summary caught my attention.  He talked about his natural reaction – to get frustrated and a little angry.  And he talked about how Satan would love to keep him frustrated and tense going into the camp.  See, if Josiah is frustrated and tense, he’s much more likely to snap at middle schoolers.  If they get snapped at, they’re much less likely to listen well to anything Josiah has to say, and the opportunity to really tell them about Jesus and how to live with Him is lost.  So in the everything-is-going-wrong moments, there are two options:  (1) react with natural frustration, or (2) stop, recognize the spiritual nature of the conflict, and ask God for extra strength, patience, and a focus on what really matters.

So true.  Camp is such a great opportunity to go deep with kids.  At weekly clubs or small groups, we have limited time.  At camp, we have hours and hours and hours.  We go on ropes courses with kids, eat meals with kids, drive go-karts with kids, and sleep in teepees with kids.  Kids see us tired and dirty as well as freshly-showered.  And we can share Christ through every moment of that.  What a great opportunity for God to work, and what a prime opportunity for Satan to attack us at our weak spots.

Lord, help me keep that perspective!

by Aretta Zitta
Aretta serves as the Community Director in Vilseck/Grafenwöhr. Aretta leads a team of staff and volunteers in providing a community focused ministry to Army dependents. Vilseck/Graf is experiencing a great deal of change, as units relocate from other Army posts and as units are on a continual deployment rotation. Currently, they have a regiment in Afghanistan, and a brigade training up to go.Club Beyond Grafenwoehr
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