Whether you are at camp for the first time or fifth ... came with friends or solo ... the first step into the camp gates yields all kinds of wonder and healthy excitement/anxiousness about what the week holds. One by one, you meet new cabin mates that will quickly become friends. You look intently at your coaches to lead you through all the week has to offer. You continue stepping into each minute and experience that unfolds as you settle into camp. And with each moment, you feel more comfortable and more confident and more at home.
The cabin of Cut-n-Shoot knew from the beginning that they were fast friends. Their time on the ropes course together, showed just how deep that friendship was. In fact, they now say "sisters" not friends. They stepped into their harnesses and headed down to the course.
All but one camper had been on the elements before, then knew what to expect. But there was still that wonder and healthy anxiousness in the veterans and the one rookie as they started to climb. They looked intently at the coaches of their cabins and the ropes staff to lead them and show them the confidence they would use every step of the way.
The one camper that had not been to camp before went on belay to start up the leap of faith pole. Just like coming to overnight camp, she was stepping into a new adventure. Step by step she climbed up the pole.
Once on top of the pole the nerves and anxiety were outweighing her calm and trust. (this happens alot on the pole ... it's where we see God strut His stuff). She asked each coach if she could come down. No, it would be worth it to finish, they promised. Her cabin mates cheered and encouraged like they never had before. They prayed. She prayed.
Her dear friend from home held her hands up and assured her she would be fine, she can do it, she will catch her. All eyes on the course were moved to this cabin. All hearts around the scene were simply moved.
But that wasn't the only big step and celebration that day. Later that night as campers do every Wednesday night of the summer, they laid under the stars to sit quietly and let their thoughts wander to the amazing love our Savior has for us. Campers have the opportunity to know Jesus as their personal Savior as the accept the sweet gift of Salvation through Christ Himself.
And she did. She (and so many others) took the biggest step she will ever take leading her into the biggest adventure she will ever go on. And everyone was grinning from ear to ear with her.
One step of faith walking into camp yields new friends and mentors and memories upon memories that last as long as our days on earth.
One step of faith up on to the ropes course pole shows those cheering, watching and trusting that God is always with us and He is powerful.
One step, the most important step, of faith in trusting Jesus secures our life here and in heaven ... where HE will lead us daily and giving us confidence and comfort through sisters (and brothers) in Christ until we get Home.
*We hear campers say so often " is this what heaven is going to be like".
And when we experience God's moments like this, we have to think that it is a pretty good glimpse.