[Part of a series in which I muse about life at camp.]
It is a new week at camp. In one hour, 370 new campers and leaders will arrive for the collective explosion known as Day One. And we – who have been here for a while – must live and serve with both a second-Day-One-of-camp maturity (because hopefully we have learned some things) and also with a first-Day-One-of-camp excitement (because 370 people deserve no less).
That balance is not easy to strike, whether at camp or home. It requires a willing embrace of a disciplined life, which leads to deep roots of faith, which leads to fruitful living.
We love fruitful living.
We don’t so much love disciplined living.
We are a culture that adores first-Day-One highs. We are a people that celebrates first-Day-One emotions. We are a church that chases after first-Day-One moments.
Day One is a beautiful thing. But if Day One does not lead to deeper wisdom, wider love, and stronger faith, then Day One has been lived in vain.
The miracle of following Jesus is that the pursuit of deeper wisdom, wider love, and stronger faith does not require an abandonment of Day One joys, celebrations, and thanks. Just the opposite. Digging deeper and deeper allows us to follow farther and farther. Being anchored more firmly frees us to follow more expansively. Giving up my life of self allows me to gain true life in Christ.
These are crazy, wondrous, incomprehensible, and yet wholly believable truths.
So we race towards this second-Day-One extravaganza with a first-Day-One joy. And we do this because (oh, glory!) that is what Jesus has graciously invited us to do.
“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness!” (Colossians 2:6-7)