I just returned from Fantasy Land. 5 days of fun with a group of 100+ middle school students in the mountains. Easily the best camp yet. The theme was chaos. The chaos of life. Both the good kinds of chaos – shuttling from one event to another – to the bad kinds of chaos. Like, where is God when my world comes crashing down?
I took the whole week off of work and even deactivated my work email on my phone. (not that it mattered much, data was spotty and I barely had any time to look anyway) But I was just reading through my work email now that I’m back, and I just can’t get pumped about going to work on Monday. A large part of it is definitely that I’m exhausted, and I’m hoping I get some rest over the weekend, but knowing how kids today returned to the chaos of their lives. It’s hard to go back to my normal day to day life, when I know that today a bunch of kids I care about returned to their day to day lives. And their day to day lives include being belittled, bullied, hurt, neglected, forgotten, abused, and beaten. It’s hard for me to get pumped about my work which ultimately means very little when compared to kids I care about being hurt by people who should protect them.
Camp is a fantasy escape from the drudgery of day to day life. I love camp. But I wish it wasn’t a fantasy world. I wish every kid got 3 square meals a day. I wish every kid had a consistent place to sleep every night. I wish every kid had a group of 20+ adults in their lives that they know care deeply about them, and would never deliberately hurt them. I wish every kid had days where all they had to do was have water balloon fights, or go swimming, or glow stick wars, or dance party raves.
I know there are plenty of kids whose lives are better than the fantasy land of camp. I respect and admire those parents more than anybody. But I also know that there are dozens of kids where camp is the closest taste to a normal, healthy life they’ll get in a long time.
And I don’t know what to do about that. There are adults I dream about clocking, checks I dream about writing, documents I dream about signing, kids I dream about adopting. But that’s even more of a fantasy than camp was.
I pray. I hope. I trust Jesus. I do what I’m called to do, and hope He works it all out at the end.
I wish I could do it all. But I’m trusting Jesus. It’s harder. But it’s better.