When I was 8, my parent’s entered full-time Christian camping ministry. As a kid, camp was the best place to grow up – we had the biggest backyards since the whole campground was our playground. Around 10 years old, I remember deciding that when I grew up, I was going to work at camp. Over time, that became refined to a dream of working as a program director. I chose jobs that would give me experience toward that goal. I based my educational plans on that dream. But now I feel as though I’m losing that dream.
Since graduating from college in 2003, I’ve tried numerous times to get a job at a camp. I’ve looked at options all over the country and applied for dozens of opportunities but at this point it seems to be a closed door. In May 2005, when I chose to design a volunteer program, I felt as though the door to camp ministry was beginning to close. Now I have chosen into yet another non-camp role after encountering more closed doors to camp job opportunities.
I find myself feeling a tug to give up my dream or at least to set it aside for now and throw myself wholeheartedly into what God has put in front of me. In some ways, I find myself beginning to almost grieve the loss of a dream that has been so much a part of my life. And I hold on to a hope that if God is asking me to give up this dream, then what He holds for me and perhaps even where He’s put me right now is a far better place for me to be.
But I find myself in a situation that scares me. Living in comfortable, secure suburbia where it is way too easy to get caught up in a “Christian bubble” scares me. I don’t want to get comfortable here. I want to constantly seek relationship with non-Christians as well as Christ followers who are struggling in their faith. I want to be challenged to think through issues of faith, politics, ethics and other life issues. I want to take risks, to be challenged, to be broken, and to seek change where change is needed. Yet it can be easy to slip into pretending that everything is good; to surround yourself with Christians; to primarily engage in fairly shallow interactions; and to not be challenged in any way.
Is my dream dead? Definitely not! I often still think about working at camp. I still struggle with choosing into a job that is not at camp. I think I have to let myself kinda “grieve” if you will, the putting aside of my dream for the plans of God. But I choose to be here right now – to be fully present and to fully engage in what God has put before me until such time as He leads me on. And I will continue to find ways to get out of my comfort zone.
If I never get the chance to be a program director at a camp, I still believe that God is good and I choose to trust Him fully.
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