Saturday, August 13, 2011

Will you catch me?

"You have got to be kidding me right?" Do you use quotation marks when talking to God? Cause that is who I was addressing. Sweat was pouring over my forehead and into my eyes. I pushed up at the helmet for the 3rd time. What am I doing wearing a helmet? I don't do anything that would require a helmet. I checked my harness (another thing I shouldn't be wearing), checked my shoes, took a deep breath, and started to climb the telephone pole.

This wasn't the first time God and I haven't seen things eye to eye. Let's back up. I became a Christian at summer camp. I had a very solid foundation up until then, but it was that day before my 16th birthday that it all came together. I will have to tell that story sometime. This story is between me and the big guy and wondering what He was thinking.

I decided that I wanted to be a camp counselor. I sent in the application. I went to the interview. I wrote down my three choices in order of preferences. 1. Westley Woods (this is where I became a Christian) 2. Camp Allegheny (the place we went on retreats) 3. Jumonville (which up until I filled this list out, I had no idea existed)  Finally, my letter arrived. I got the job!! At Jumonville??? What? So I had a conversation with Kathy, the head honcho. She told me that she prayed about it and really felt God wanted me at Jumonville. Really? "Ok God, Let's go."

I packed up my stuff and headed to training at a place I had never seen. Far away from my home (only 2 hours but still!), and where I knew not one other person. When I got dropped off I remember watching the vehicle drive away and tearing up. Then I felt my heart stir. I knew this is where God wanted me. I knew I was going to spend this summer working with kids and sharing my faith. I was going to be ok. Better than ok.

Then I went through training. Rock climbing. High ropes course. Rapids? Of course the Lord and I had another chat. I complained and He listened. By the end, I knew I was suppose to be there. BUT I got my assignments. I requested all nice easy camps. Like a crafting camp. Sampler camps. On my paper, adventure camps. Lots of them. And a camp called 4 R's- rustic, river, rocks, and ropes- (yes I know that is not in the right orders.  I have another story about that one.)  Again, I talked to Larry- Jumonville's head honcho. He said that he too prayed about it and thought this is where I was suppose to be. How? The very place I feel I am not suppose to be, so many think this is where I should be? Now, I was not happy.

Here I am at the bottom of a telephone pole. I was told that I was to climb the pole, stand on top of the pole, and then jump....and try to catch the bar. Seriously God? Seriously. This is not what I signed up for. I started to climb up the pole arguing the whole way. "I wanted to lead Bible Studies and prayer. I did not want to wiggle into a climbing harness. I didn't want to wear a helmet. I wanted to sing kum-by-ya.! Okay not really. I really don't like that song. How about my God is an awesome God." And there I was at the top....

Everyone below was cheering. The person holding my rope was now giving me directions. "Now, just put one foot on top. Get your balance and then push up and bring up your other foot. Then stand."

Then stand. WHAT?? I couldn't even breath. My chest was squeezing. My feet were glued to the step. Although my knees were shaking. "I don't want to do this," I whispered so quietly I know only God heard it. Cheering and directions continued down below. I was crying on top (although not quite at the TOP) of a telephone. Now I was really not happy.

I was simply out of words. I didn't understand. Why was I here? Why am I doing this? What good is this going to do? But sometimes in a desperate hour God speaks. Not in such a loud "I am God" voice. But a quiet answer to my wondering heart. All of the sudden I felt like I can do this. I felt like I should be here. I remembered God's promise to always be with me. And when I am not enough, His Grace will be. He will always catch me. I can do this. With Him. So I did it. I put on foot on top of a telephone pole. And I took a deep breath. I double checked with God if He really wanted me to stand on a telephone pole. He did. I planted my right foot, pushed and brought up my left. I stood up.  I stood up

Now what?? Everyone was clapping and yelling. I was so shocked that I was standing here. Never, never did I ever think I could do it. And I was standing here. I guess the only thing to do was...jump. So I did. I jumped. I missed the bar! But I didn't die either. So I say win-win. 

Over the two summers I was on program staff and a couple others as a 4R's volunteer (I will tell you that another day) I learned that things are not often what they appear. My "pamper pole" as it is called really isn't just about a long climb with a jump at the end. For some people is about over coming fear. Or doing something they never thought they could. For this kid, it was about trust. Did I or did I not trust God to put me exactly where He wanted me. Did I really think it was better to put my 2 cents in or just let go and let God? To trust that He would never leave me, never forsake me, and would always be enough.

Those two summers plus some that I spent at Jumonville were some of the best of my life. I knew I was exactly where He wanted me to be. Each week. I did get to sing (Kum-by-ya at times), lead Bible Study, and lead campers in the prayer of salvation. I also rock climbed, biked up and kayaked back, camped under the stars, got bee stings and sun poisoning...and loved every minute of it. There is something so freeing and so right when you are standing in the will of God. If I never would have let go and never would have jumped, I would have missed it. Missed so much. I am glad I went. So glad that I jumped.

The Jumonville Cross

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