It is the writer's privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart.
I'm not a big camper. Not that I don't like camping, I just haven't done it much. At least not the sleep-in-a-tent-cook-on-a-campfire-don't-shower-for-days kind of camping. However, C.A.M.P.ing, I love.
Next week I'll be C.A.M.P.ing with some amazing kids. Three years ago I started the Creative Academy and Missions for the Performing Arts. It's three hours a day for one week, teaching kids songs and choreography, learning drama sketches, doing art projects, and encouraging them to see the reasons why God made them creative. It is a crazy amount of work but all of that is far outweighed by the fun and the joy of seeing kids do their thing.
Today, I've been working on C.A.M.P. details and listening over and over to the songs we'll be using. All of the songs I use in the camp are either ones I've had a hand in writing or songs written by good friends who I trust and admire their work. One of the things I am committed to in regards to writing kids music is to pack the songs full of truth; to not be afraid of using language that has weight and significance which might require the kids to dig a little deeper into theology than what they've been used to.
As I've listened today, I have become very thankful for the writers who have contributed to these C.A.M.P. songs. These writers are people I care about. People who love God and love people and love writing about both. None of them are rolling in royalties because of the songs they write, and certainly not because of the kid's music they write, but they do it anyway. They do it because equipping kids to sing about things that matter is important. And I am very grateful they do it so well.
I am a strange combination of traditionalist and risk-taker. I thrive in an environment of routine, but welcome the chance to change things up. I am a homebody who likes adventure. Even I am unsure of who I really am some days. But I've learned to be okay with that.
One thing I know for certain about myself, I have a lot of ideas. Ideas which lead to trying new things. Trying new things leads to some successes and a whole lot of "Well, that didn't work so well." I refuse to use the f-word as a description of non-success because I really do see everything as just another step in the journey; lessons learned on the path to doing what you're called to - doing things that matter.
To me, trying new things can also feel like what's depicted in the photo that accompanies this blog. A small, little green thing is fighting it's way up through dry and broken ground. From what I can see in this picture, it appears as though there has been a season of drought leaving things colorless and cracked. And yet, something is growing. Something with potential. Something that symbolizes life and hope.
Life has felt a lot like this picture lately. A season of drought where I have stood on the cracked, colorless ground of our circumstances and prayed for rain. Rain to help new things grow. It isn't as if rain hasn't come. It has. It has come in light sprinkles where we've seen glimpses of relief from the sun beating down. It has come in the downpour of blessings from countless people who have so generously cared for my family. And while by many standards, our little world may still be in a drought, I am confident new things are growing.
There are still days when I feel like I'm walking for miles across dry, barren ground, but I'm learning more all the time that seeing the new, growing things is really a choice. My eyes are too quickly drawn to the brown; but if I look closely, intently, and with hope, I see the green. And I become grateful. Grateful for all of it.