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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
Last updated: 04 July 1996
Copyright 1995 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.
[remove the "XYZZY." to make things work!]
c/o RNN / 1705 Oak Forest Dr / Round Rock, TX / 78681-1514