Thursday, August 31, 2006
Watching youth eat pigs feet and dog food.
Last week, I had a fantastic time being able to share at a youth camp in Southern Oregon that a great guy, Tim, from Shady Cove Assembly of God invited me down for. Tim is like the essence of ultra-positive vibes, which can't help but make a person feel welcome.
The camp theme was "gaining the victory." I was down with that. (I suppose the only alternative would be, "Gaining Losership," and I was not into that.)
There were so many ULTRA-FANTASTIC young people at the camp. I have been to quite a few camps in my day, I would have to say, but never had I been to a camp where I saw the young people, in one contest, eat pickled pigs feet, pickled whole cocktail onions, limburger cheese, and dog food. These campers went after it with abandonment. I felt pretty odd being there to share on victory watching some of these folks pound that food away for their team to win. I mean, what do I have to say about victory that competes with that? I wouldn't even consider eating one bite of that stuff, and these guys went all out.
Rumor has it their rooms stunk to high heaven that night. No joke.
One guy, Riley, for bonus points for his team, drank half a bucket full of pickeled juices, buttermilk, spices, pigs feet, limburger cheese, pickles, ...it was barf making material. He couldn't finish it, and this young lady teammate of his grabbled the bucket, and finished off the last 1/4 of it like a champion after grabbng it from another guy. My gosh, she was impressive. Later, she barfed it all up.
Anyhoo...I spoke on victory from the context of 'we' and 'us' experiencing it, as opposed to individual victory. It is my premise, and personal belief, after looking through NT scriptures, and many OT ones, that victory is overwhelmingly mentioned as a group collective as opposed to a invididual thing. We then applied these passages to how, when we are not all activiated in the Body of Christ, victory, truly, is a difficult thing to achieve.
Having diabetes, I know what is like when one small group of cells in one mere organ of my body doesn't function...and what it can cost other body systems! It is a crappy disease for sure...it can cause amputations, poor circulation, heart complications, liver issues, I could go on and on and on...
As the Body of Christ, are we perhaps experiencing some illnesses when we are not all heard, shared with, valued, esteemed, and appreciated for who we are? I am thinking so. "No eye (singular) has seen, no ear (singular) has heard, no mind (singular) has conceived of what God has prepared for those that love Him, but He has revealed it to us (plural, and written to the whole church of Corinth) by His Spirit."
As individual Christians, most believers I have ever known come time and time again to where they need to know how much God likes/loves them, and our insecurities often tempt us to stress over that, causing crazy behaviors and reactions to those feelings as opposed to maturing responses to God's love. I know it all too well, from my own personal failures, truth be told. Yet, here in the word, we can find out how much God loves us...(I would call that a 'victory' myself), but we are going to need an US to figure that out. It takes more than me...it takes others...it takes a team...it takes an us.
Another side note from camp: I have lived in Oregon for 22 years of my life, a native son of the state...and this camp was only 16 miles from Crater Lake...and I still have not been there. I need brain surgery, at times, I feel. The Rogue River is beatiful. This state truly has the most awesome geography.