Camp Day 4 – But Why God?


I’m a sucker for happy endings.

Perhaps this reveals how emotionally shallow I can be, but if the story makes me cry, or the dog dies, or it ends with a death or separation, it’s not for me.

So why God did you allow my God Moment to take a tragic turn?

I’m getting pretty good at this camp security gig – sneaking this 6’4 200 pound frame thru the woods to keep an eye on the rascals that decide to sneak out. Usually I wait before I bust them. I listen. I want to know what they are talking about and where they are headed next. What I hear reveals not only where they are going, but where they are…on the inside.

This morning at about 2 am I tracked 3 guys. They settled at about 100 yards from their cabin. I settled too. Couldn’t see their faces, but I could see their silhouettes and smell the pungent odor of – pot. The fun little game took a turn. The stakes were raised. I sat there in a daze (no, not from the second hand smoke).

Why God?

I lost my composure. In anger and disgust I tossed my flashlight to the ground making enough noise for the 3 to scatter. In a rush of adrenaline I took off on foot and managed to capture one of the three. I scared the fool out of him – he told me everything, including the names of his smoking buddies. When he named the third boy, my heart broke. It was Jay, the super hero from my God Moment. Jay brought the weed to camp and took a few of his buddies into the woods to smoke it.

Why God?

Why does the feel-good story have to take a turn this way?

Why Jay?

I thought….but he was praising you in worship just a few hours ago…pot?….running away like a child?….why God?

It’s just not how feel good stories in my little world are supposed to go.

As I wrestled with what just happened, the Holy Spirit began to minister to my heart. I was reminded of how often I sing the last chorus of a praise song and immediately have a sinful thought. Or how I leave the soup kitchen and honk at the car in font of me because it’s not moving off the green light as fast as I think he should.

Two steps forward and sometimes 3 steps back.

The important lesson is that we are taking steps. I imagine that Jay is thinking right now – “why did I even take a step forward?” But in our faith journey the step is everything. With each step is risk – risk that we my slip, risk that we may embarrass ourselves if we fall. Satan tells us to quit. God beckons us out of the boat.

Jay stepped out of the boat and made significant strides towards Jesus. But he took his eyes off of the truth and immediately sank. It happens to us all. Jay needs to hear that. You and I need to be reminded of that. Don’t count the risk, count the steps. The risk is far greater to stay in the boat than it is to step out of it.

I’ve already set a lunch appointment at TGI Friday’s for next week. I hope Jay is working. He needs to know that he is loved.

Maybe…just maybe this story will have a happy ending.

(the incident was reported. all parties involved were of legal age)


2 responses to this post.

  1. Sometimes when people disappoint us..we take it to heart and perhaps don’t want to give them another chance..but when we get to thinking about all the chances we have had…it changes our perspective a bit…Jay is worth more chances!

  2. This reminds me of a conversation I had with a fellow counselor the other day. We were expressing our great disappointment that one of the addicts we counseled had a dirty drug screen. Why? They were doing so well? I can’t believe this. How could they – I trusted them, believed in them?

    Then, the Holy Spirit spoke to us…we realized that we’re all addicts in one way or another – looking for life in things and people other than God…just so happens that there’s not a drug screen for my sin. Ouch!

    Praying that Jay would experience a small taste of the Father’s Love depicted in the parable of the Prodigal Son at TGIF’s next week…

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