Time of Renewal – AL Youth Camp
In July, the children and I were blessed with the opportunity to fly home and attend the Alabama Church of God Youth Camp. I had said this was something our children really needed for their spiritual growth since they are more often being the ministers than being fed here in Ecuador. However, I realized quickly that I needed it as much as they did.
I don’t know what it is about youth camp, but it is such a magical week of being changed by God. All my life, youth camp was always a life-shaping experience. There is something about being away from your “normal” and being surrounded by God stuff. It is almost impossible not to grow and be changed in this environment.
Thanks to our friends, the Patrick’s, I was able to be at camp that week too, hanging out with the staff. I was blessed, broken and filled up just as much or more than any of the children were. This reminded me of how important it is to refill ourselves spiritually on a regular basis. No matter what your everyday looks like, this is such an important part of our Christian lives that we MUST guard and make a priority.
So I challenge you guys – just as I am challenging myself, to be vigilant about taking a time of renewal. It is something we easily cast aside for “another time when we’re not so busy”. But it is something that if we don’t do, we’ll wither little by little spiritually. Obviously, we can’t all go spend a week at youth camp, but there are ways to make renewal time a priority. Here are some ways I am personally working on that:
- Quiet morning or evening time – For me, I am a night owl, so I try to take advantage of that quiet time after everyone else is asleep to reflect, read the Bible and pray.
- Family Worship – We have just begun adding some worship time to our family devotions. We don’t do it every day – but we are trying to do it weekly. We just play some worship songs on the computer and “stop the rollercoaster” for a few minutes to reflect on God’s glory. This has led to some beautiful moments for us.
- Nature Walks – I am the type who always sees God in nature. I love to just walk and observe the beautiful rolling mountains, the fluffy clouds in the sky, the birds, etc. To me, this leads to time with God, reflecting on his magnificence.
I know we are all so busy and have so many things distracting us (like Facebook!). Try this week, to do one thing – even for a couple minutes – to help you find spiritual renewal.
Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31 (New American Standard Bible)