Well Beyond Camp

August 13, 1995

(As I haven't spoken with the kids about being on this page, I've taken the liberty of renaming them...)

Suddenly the world has intruded. What we think of as reality (it's certainly real, but it's not all there is!) is back in our face. The ``high'' of the last few weeks isn't there all the time. What now?

It's kind of like moving from falling from foot to foot while Dad or Mom holds us to taking those first steps on our own. We fall down, we're scared. We try to do it the same way as before, but with nobody holding us, it doesn't work.

July 23

At youth Saturday, many of the kids are trying to reproduce the camp experience. Many are dancing feverishly, trying to regain that sense of God's closeness. One girl is sort of depressed, who had laughed a lot at camp, so another girl starts praying for her to laugh again. She gets the silly giggles. I pray for her to know her Prince who has come for his Princess. I feel I shouldn't say anything to the kids, as much as I want to. The next morning in the service, Dennis spends half the sermon time speaking directly to the youth about just these issues - seeking God and not the experience, how to deal with the "feelings" wearing off.

July 30

No youth meeting this week, because of other stuff going on with the adults (maybe it's catch-up time!) Nothing earth-shattering at church - just a sermon that hit most of us upside the head.

August 6

My family & I were in Kentucky, meeting a bunch of people face to face I'd fellowshipped with electronically for several years. When you read the media-whipped frenzy about porn and anarchy on the Internet - remember that it's just a medium, and it's as good or bad as people make it. In this case, it's been a really cool part of life for a group of 15-20 people, who've gotten far closer than I believed possible over a network connection.

We went to an Orthodox Church and a picnic in the rain. We saw the Twister Champion of the World. We picked Tony's brain about Orthodoxy. It was a great weekend.

August 13

Last night at youth, most of the kids were just sort of there at first. Instead of praising, they were just hanging out, or synchronized dancing, or talking. The leaders started praying & worshiping, anyway, and a couple of the youth were really praising God. Prayer turned into a serious battle. I could almost see the enemy. But after a while I was just a kid dancing with my Father, when He picked me up and held me on His shoulder, and a tornado the size of a hurricane came through. When it was gone, He told me to look around, and now I did see the enemy - heaps of dead things everywhere, ripped to shreds. I saw a much more massive, stronger enemy in the distance, with angelic troops fighting him off. I came back to earth, and all the youth were on their knees, worshiping God.

This morning at church, the youth were back into real worship. Funny how when we seek God, we find Him, but when we seek an experience, we get something useless... Shane, a sophomore in high school, had asked me to pray a while back that he would find a prayer partner & Christian companion at school. I've felt that Simms, entering the same school as a freshman, would be perfect (he also needs a prayer partner), but just prayed instead of trying to push anything. Today Shane told me he and Simms were going to be stick togethter at school for prayer & encouragement.

More and more I'm seeing the direct intervention of the Lord, if I'll just pray & stay out of the way.

From New Year's on

The youth really drew close to God this past summer. Up until the end of the year, things were going great. But as the rest of the church really had kind of stalled, so did the youth. They started kind of coasting, cliques re-developed (though nowhere near as bad as before). But most of them weren't happy with this state of things, and as the summer of 96 approached, a lot of them were looking forwards to the annual youth camp. And they were right to do so!
Last updated: 04 July 1996

Copyright 1995 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.

Miles O'Neal <roadkills.r.us@XYZZY.gmail.com> [remove the "XYZZY." to make things work!] c/o RNN / 1705 Oak Forest Dr / Round Rock, TX / 78681-1514