Lake Creek Camp Meeting
Last night I accompanied my dad and little sister to a church revival of sorts. It’s called Lake Creek Camp Meeting. I would say on a scale of 1-10 of Methodist Churches, this little church tucked away in the forest would score a nine. I was seriously impressed.
For the past 169 years, their church has held a “Camp Meeting.” This is an all week event where the church members will take time off of work to go and camp in cabins they’ve built in the woods together and devote their time to God. During the day, they’ll have vacation bible school and adult bible studies and at night they gather for a worship service. Each night is a new speaker. Last night, they invited my dad to speak.
Trust leads to Love
My dad spoke on trust and how it’s necessary to love like Jesus. Our culture today would teach us to trust no one. So, we have. We don’t trust each other. In fact, we often anticipate the worst from each other.
We no longer praise innocence and naivety. It’s changed into a sign of ignorance. We don’t love each other. Loving means trusting. That’s too dangerous.
Well, that’s wrong. Not only is it wrong; it’s counterproductive.
I struggle with this concept all the time. I want to trust people, but other people warn me not to. They say – “Oh! That’s risky. I wouldn’t do that. What if they kidnap you? Stab you? Rob you?”
Fear. Fear. Fear.
That’s what’s talking. If we’re truly Christians – shouldn’t we believe that there is no reason to fear? Doesn’t God say to us, “Fear not for I am with you always!” When have we stopped believing that?
I know in the midst of trusting people I am going to be hurt and disappointed, but I know I can handle that. I’m not made of glass. I don’t shatter easily.
I trust that God will not give me more pain than I can handle. Not only that, I trust that God wants to give me more joy than I can possibly imagine.
But here’s the thing – I can’t receive all the goodness he has planned for me unless I’m willing to play by his rules. And, I desperately want to be in the game.
The Two Bridges
My dad said something last night that resounded with me. He said sometimes we’re going to come up to a crossing where we can choose from two different bridges.
- New and Impressive looking bridge that EVERYONE is taking.
- Old and Rickety bridge that it seems like only FOOLS are taking.
Jesus/God is standing at the point where the path splits and we look to him for guidance. Which bridge should we take?
We expect him to point us towards the big shiny new bridge. The bridge made of strong iron instead of flimsy rope and boards. But, he doesn’t. “This way!” he says as he points to the small bridge.
Um… God? Are you sure about that small bridge? It doesn’t look strong enough to hold me. I think it might break – actually.
He assures us – If we trust him, we’re going to make it to the other side.
But what about all these other people? Surely they wouldn’t make such a crucial mistake as to pick the wrong bridge?! They seem so confident this is the right way…
We ignore him. We’re so dazzled by the promises of the world that we choose the opposite (wrong) path.
Here’s what we don’t expect – in the middle of walking across the new bridge with everyone else, we fail to see that – Whoops! They forgot to finish the middle section of the bridge. We’re so distracted that we don’t even notice – we drop into the river and realize with a shock that we’re drowning.
We can’t thrive in our job. We can’t thrive in our relationships. We can’t think about others. That’s too complicated when we’re using all we have to try and stay afloat.
We got caught up in what everyone else was doing and forgot to trust that God knows best.
God calls me to that small little bridge of rope and boards all the time. I’ve practiced taking it, so it doesn’t seem as daunting to me as it used to seem. But still. Every now and then, I get caught up in what everyone else says is right or what every one else is doing and I realize I’ve fallen.
Take the small bridge, Sarah.
Go that way.