Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Story Time

"Invite me to join your adventure. Then we can go do whatever you want!" (Psalm 37:4 RSV)

In the summers down here in Charlotte one of our responsibilities is to help coach and run youth summer camps. We get paid a little something and it’s a great way for us to engage kids in the community, build the Eagles name, and ultimately spread the gospel. In order for you to understand in the slightest bit, I will help to set the stage with a question. Where can you find 100 degree heat, 60+ kids aged 5-12, 6 hours to fill, limited water, ridiculous skits, and guaranteed sunburn? Yeah, you guessed it: A Charlotte Eagles Summer Camp! Now, you also find great laughs, the game of soccer, life change in youths, and an unforgettable experience for kids; it’s just unfortunately easier to find the struggles first, isn’t it?

And while there are probably several volumes in that thought alone, it’s not where I am headed. Today in camp, there was something pretty cool that came to my attention. We split our campers into two groups: The Mighty Mighty Micros (5 and 6 year olds) and everyone else. The Micros are only a half-day camp and they pretty much do their own camp with their own coaches. A friend of mine, Payton, is one of the MMM coaches.

Each day this week I have helped Payton with the MMM skit because they need an extra hand. Payton and I are on the “Adventure of a Lifetime” as we seek to show kids what that looks like from John 10:10. Before we started today, I came over and the Micros were playing ‘soccer tag’ and I got a chance to speak with Payton briefly.

He was laughing.

I asked him what was so funny and he proceeded to tell me what had happened during story time. He said, “I mean technically I tell the story, but basically I pause and the kids fill in the story all by themselves. It is so funny!” When I didn’t know what he meant, he continued…”Ok, so I started by saying this is a story about…and one of the kids yelled YODA, so I said, yes, this is a story about Yoda.”

He proceeded to tell me about a story where yoda met up with his good friend Spongebob Squarepants and they headed to climb a mountain in the Sahara Desert. He said that when kids suggested something ridiculous like killing of his friend, Payton would reign them in and correct their thought and ultimately, the story. He told me how much the kids loved the story. They felt involved and a part of what was going on. And by the smile on his face I could tell just how much he had enjoyed it.

As I continued to think about what just happened, my mind was blown.

We are these kids.

That’s right. No matter how old we get, we are children. And the amazing truths of the Kingdom are revealed through simple things such as these.

I have been challenged lately to think of God himself as a beautiful Author; a story-teller if you will. And hearing about these micros today opened my mind.

We serve a God who wants to let us in on the story!

We serve a God who wants to help us write our story.

Too often I wonder what God is doing, or why he is leading me into certain parts of the story that I don’t like. And yet much like Coach Payton, before things can get too far out of hand, God reigns me back in.

He brings me back to the core of the ultimate Story he is telling.

I find myself in the midst of a ‘choose your own adventure’ type story, and yet I am so concerned about where I want to head I am often paralyzed into indecision. Honestly, I don’t think God minds all that much where our story heads. It can be with Yoda, or Spongebob, or both. It can be in business or soccer or ministry or anything else.

I think he just wants to be with us in the story.

I think he wants to sit back and smile as he enjoys helping us write the story we are telling…

Right between soccer tag and snack time.

No comments: