Every year our church takes a week and goes down to Rockaway Beach on the Oregon Coast for the annual church retreat forever immortalized as RCC Family Camp. Family Camp. It’s a phrase that when spoken brings a smile to the face, joy to the heart and a veritable wellspring of happy memories. It’s a time of fellowship with the Saints, learning new Psalms and songs that stretch our mediocre singing skills, and teaching from God’s word that refreshes and inspires us. The weeks (and months) prior to Camp every year have an air of excitement and expectancy of what will surely be "The Best Camp Ever". :) Personally, this year did not fail in it's expectations.
Toby Sumpter was our main speaker this year and brought to us messages about the childishness and childlikeness of Christ and what it means to be the Children of God. Children – that’s kind of what being at Camp is like for many: it’s a sense of being carefree and childlike. I think in many ways it’s how we should live our lives all the time. In Jesus we have eternal life. That means we’ll always be young – because we’re God’s kids.
There’s a sense of childish abandon; God says “Let’s go! I’ve got you still!” The children of God know they are safe under the wings of the Father. And when you’re safe, you’re invincible. You are invincible against all the dragons of this world because the great dragon has been crushed. Jesus has won. What’s the worst the world can do? Kill us? So what…He’s got me…He’s going to raise me up. Let’s go.
Camp is over. The sun has set on this week. But the time is not over. The magic and memories will live on until next year when new ones are forged around the bonfires on the beach, built in the castles on the sand, and written on our hearts with new songs of praise to our God.
Now I’m home with sand still between my toes, a song in my throat, memories in my mind, and a heart full of joy and love for my people and King. I’ve been inspired to fight on – taming and slaying the dragons; exploring this treasure trove of Jesus’ kingdom and freely sharing my love for Him with everyone.
Family Camp isn’t over. Not really. It’s just beginning.