If you are a Trekkie like me, you will know exactly what I’m talking about in the title of this post. Space! It is the final frontier and a particularly amazing collection of galaxies and stars and planets and quasars and asteroids and comets and…things.
I read an article about space this week that made me think of camp.
Well, it was actually two articles. One by Eric Metaxas in the Wall Street Journal about the signs of intelligent design in the universe and a letter to the editor by Lawrence Krauss saying that Metaxas was all wrong. Now I myself really don’t care whether there is other intelligent life in the universe. Let me amend that, my twelve-year-old self cared very much. I intended to marry Spock and if the universe didn’t cough up some Vulcans real soon I was going to be out of luck. But Vulcans aside, whether or not God created other habitable worlds, my faith in Him is not shaken. So why read these two articles and why in the world did they make me think of camp?
Most campers live in a town of some sort. It might be a small town with lovingly landscaped streets that sport decorative bushes and trees and hanging flower baskets. It might be a larger town with a wide variety of shopping experiences and more than one movie theater. Or they might live in a bustling city with malls and billboards and highways and maybe even a skyscraper or two. But very few of the kids who come to camp actually live out in the woods like my boys.
Just like there is something about the vast, swirling wonders of space which pulls the mind toward questions about God. There is something about setting foot in the forest that makes you pause and wonder, is He there? If so, does He really see me?
When you are in town, you are surrounded by the manmade. Houses are constructed, streets are paved and maintained, stores are bought and sold, trees and shrubs come from a nursery and must be trimmed and sprayed for insects and watered lest they die. The forest, well the forest lives on its own.
No one is watering the towering pines that cover the hills around camp. They are simply there, stretching toward the heavens in all their splendor. Elk, squirrels, bear, snowshoe hares, deer, porcupines, cougar, and marmots move through the forest unaided. With the exception of the squirrels by my grandparents house, they find their food and live their lives without a mall or medical plan. The sizzling heat of the July sun. The aching cold of a midnight hike to Inspiration Point. The vast spread of stars above and the gentle call of song birds on the wind. We can forget all of these wonders when we surround ourselves with the works of man.
Camp is a place where you meet God.
Not just because the speaker is teaching from the Bible. Not just because the counselors are asking for prayer requests at night. You meet God at camp because camp is surrounded by all the amazing things that He Himself has made. I am awestruck when I touch God’s handiwork. Whether it is a confusing glimpse into the intricacies of space, or hearing an owl call to his mate in the dead of night. I want kids to see His wonders too. I don’t want kids to spend their lives on sidewalks and playgrounds and think that they have seen it all. I want them to experience the things that God made, in all their wild splendor. And that is why those articles made me think of camp.
So how about you?
What leaves you flabbergasted and in awe of God?