Doing What You Love
There are lots of things in life that each of us HAS to do—whether we like it or not. It’s true at home and in our families . . . where dishes have to be washed, yards have to be mowed, errands have to be run, diapers have to be changed, parents have to be brought to medical appointments. But there are also things each of us has to do in our WORK life. Maybe it’s the year-end report, or the sales call to that really difficult client; or perhaps it’s the annual review that you dread or the piling on of yet another project on your already full plate.
Well, it’s no different for pastors. There are aspects of our work that we would do whether we were paid or not! That’s the stuff we LOVE to do! That’s the work God created us to do. It’s the work which most closely matches our best gifts and abilities. It corresponds to the things about your work that really float your boat; that confirm you made the right career or volunteering choice and that you’re on the right track.
Well, after feeling kind of fatigued this spring and early summer, I feel like summer camps really brought me back to life and got me back on track. Whatever else God wants me to be doing, I feel confident that summer camps are part of the mix.
It’s not planning crafts [Kerry does that], or coordinating afternoon visitors [Erin makes that happen]. It’s not even about creating the theme and daily learning times—though that’s not unimportant. For me, the heart of my calling is to affirm and draw out the gifts and leadership potential of others—and that means campers AND volunteers.
It takes a village to make our summer camps happen, and the key is welcoming people to do the piece God created them for; the piece that fits with the purpose they see unfolding for their life. Because we all have different gifts, we’re not all doing the same things. Some of us excel at hospitality and can purchase, prepare and serve snacks with a smile. Some of us like to come in and do one BIG special project like making cement garden stones for 60 day campers. Some are willing to clean bathrooms on really hot sticky summer afternoons, to give others time to prepare for the next day. Some of our youth are willing to spend a week [or even two] taking charge of a group of kids—teaching, supervising, playing, hanging out. Then there are adults that are willing to take a full week away and sleep in a gymnasium with 100 youth while painting or building a wheelchair ramp in a small town in Virginia!
When we all do our part, and use our gifts for the good of others we grow in leadership and community. We grow faith in ourselves--and others. We make a difference.
It warms my heart when I hear from kids or parents that their week of Kinder Camp or Day Camp, Beach Camp, Mountain Camp or Mission Camp was the best week of their summer! It means that we have created opportunities for kids and youth to experience God, to learn about themselves and to serve others using the gifts God gave them.
For me, this adds up to doing what I love.