Summary: God makes himself known to us through amazing experiences so that we have those to cling to when the foundation crumbles.

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God at the Lake

Jan 29, 2012 Ps 19

I’ve been looking for the perfect opportunity to share a particular story. I’ve been waiting for 6 months to tell it. I’ve been sure that along the way, in the course of preaching, there would be a spot where I’d need an illustration and this one would be absolutely perfect, so I’d be able to pull it out and pass it on.

But that hasn’t happened.

And I don’t want to wait any longer. So I’m not going to.

I’m just going to tell it, and let God shape the rest of this morning’s sermon around it.

July 17. My week begins, at Gull Lake Baptist Camp, with 6 of our church boys between the ages of 8 and 11, including my son Thomas. They are excited, of course. And so am I. This is our second year going to camp all together, and I know from my own years growing up, and our experience last year, that I’m going to see God at work, and I am going to like it. It is a perfect, central Alberta week. One day it is plus 34, and the word is all about hats and sunscreen and making each of your campers drink at least 3 glasses of water at lunch so they don’t get heat stroke at the beach in the afternoon, which is great except when you have a young assistant counselor who takes this a bit too seriously and so insists they all drink 3 glasses of water before heading to the food line. I’m not hungry. Pastor Steve, my stomach hurts. Can I go to the bathroom, again? Then the next day it is plus 12 and the evening thundershower turns the sky so black at 6 pm that the yard lights come on, and then the rain and the hail pour so hard that the banging and crashing and clapping on the roof and the windows drowns out the sound of the games leader, who is using a microphone hooked up to a good sound system and speakers. And even if we could have heard him, the sound of nature was far more majestic and worth listening to. It was the summer of the plagues. We were there during the massive infestation of mayflies, so many that the camp staff were literally vacuuming the walls and windows to suck them up. We would look up into the sky and see the massive cloud and hear the droning sound so strong we had to raise our voice to be heard over them. Tip: keep your mouth closed as you walk down the path.

The week has been great. Our boys laughing, getting along, including others, engaging in worship, and going straight to sleep when I turn out the lights. Honestly, and when the young, exhausted counselors from the other cabins saw my refreshed smiling face each morning and asked how on earth did you get them to go to sleep so quickly? I smiled and said that’s the good thing about being 40 years old and a father. Highlights were Gareth hitting the orge with the arrow, nerf wars in the lounge, dodge ball, and the creature from cabin 24.

Thursday, the last night, the night when each cabin sneaks out after lights out to go create some memorable moments, spontaneity we planned and scheduled on day 1. We are sneaking down to the beach, to build a fire, roast some s’mores, and make some memories. Our outdoor campfire ends, and I’m watching the sky and seeing signs of a storm, so we decide to head straight down to the lake a little early. But quietly. We don’t want the camp director to catch us sneaking out.

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