Silly songs. Fun activities. Field games. New friends. Reconnecting with new old friends. Great speakers sharing God's love. Worshipping God. Chapel. Camp fires. Spiritual decisions. A feeling of coming home. Those are the things that come flooding through my mind when I drive on the camp property.
This weekend, I was back at the camp I went to as a kid and then had the privilege of working at for a few summers. It was a celebration of 40 years of ministry in that place. 40 years of lives being changed as people met God - some for the first time and some in a way they never have before. Celebrating 40 years of what is still occurring in that place and will continue to.
As we heard stories of how God had worked to provide for the camp, to protect the camp, to keep the camp moving forward. Provision of people and funds to continue to point people to Jesus. So much of it came down to people who were willing to allow God to use them.
That's what it comes down to for me. The camp is special to me, because of the people I met there. People who cared and gave of their time and energy to pour into my life. People who saw something in me they thought was worth investing in. People who gave me a chance to learn how to lead. People who gave me a safe place to fail and get back up and try again. People who celebrated with me when I succeeded.
So much of what really matters in our lives, the memories that we hold onto for years, are of the people. We might remember some of the place or the things, but it's usually the people who we hold onto in those memories. That's because God created us to be in relationship with others. We were created to need others in our lives. And when someone does take the time with us, we remember them easily. They become a part of who we are today.
As I sat and visited with some of those people in my life this weekend, I was reminded of how they have impacted my life. My response is one of gratitude. Gratitude to God for bringing them into my life. Thankfulness to them for being willing to be used by God in the lives of other people.