No matter how much we try to follow Him, we inevitably begin the think that we know better. I've been personally thinking about this a lot recently. As camp begins the process of hiring our new staff and counselors, this is especially heavy on my heart.
God's will is, many times, a difficult puzzle to decipher. We often have many different life decisions and opportunities that arise and we must make the huge decision of what it is that God wants for us. Sometimes, I genuinely believe that God puts these opportunities in our lives and He is happy to let us take the wheel for a bit and make the decision for ourselves (as long as that decision is pleasing to the Lord, of course). However, other times I think God has one specific task or goal that He wants to see accomplished, and He wants us to be the tool that He uses. In the case of Jonah, he was in the latter situation.
Of course we all know the story of Jonah. God has given Jonah a specific task: to bring the word of the Lord to Nineveh. Nineveh was the capital city of the Assyrians, a nation bent on world domination who had been essentially a constant threat to the Children of Israel. Jonah disobeyed God's very specific orders to go to Nineveh and basically went as far away from the Assyrians as he could to Tarshish. I see myself in Jonah's shoes often, giving God the excuse, "God, I'm still doing ministry. It may not be THAT ministry, but it's ministry all the same."
I say all this to remind all the current or hopeful staff and counselors and those of us who are now working in the "real world" to really pray and listen to God's calling in your life. Before you decide to spend your summer working at Camp, I would ask you to seek God's will in your ministry. You may be at a spot in your life where God is happy with you simply living out the Great Commission in any way you choose. If you are in this category and are thinking of working at Camp, I hope to see you this summer. Others of you may be being specifically called to a certain ministry (all of us are called into the ministry). If you are in this category I would ask you to really pray and seek the Lord's will in your life as well. Do not let Camp become your Tarshish, simply an easy and comfortable place to run to this summer. If you use Camp as a shelter to run to and hide from God's will, you will be (metaphorically, of course) swallowed up by the big fish that is Camp Ba Yo Ca. However, for others of us Camp may be our Nineveh. If God is calling you to work at Camp this summer, but your plans tell you otherwise, I would encourage you to really seek the Lord in this decision. If God has called you to a place, he has your best interest in mind. Things may not always turn out like you want them to, but God will surely take care of you. As we were promised by our Lord in Matthew 6:25-34, "25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Therefore, for every major decision we make in our lives, whether we are considering working at camp this summer or are already past our time at camp and making decisions in the "real world," let us rely on God first and ourselves and others second.
At some point in our lives we all run from God.
Let's make a conscious effort this summer and beyond to run to Him.