Culture not included

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

Romans 11:33

The only comfort zone we’re supposed to stay in is the Lord’s.

Last week, I went to The Wilds Christian Camp (for the first time) to be a counselor (for the first time) for a mission board I’ve never been associated with. My job was working with a diverse group of missionary kids, ages 6-18, for the week.

Out of my element? I think…yes.

I had every reason to feel out of place at that conference. But before the first day of setting up was over, I had been welcomed by the best, biggest clique in the world: brothers and sisters in Christ, culture notwithstanding.

They even taught me how to play volleyball, to shoot assault rifles, and to walk on stilts (yeah, that sort of failed). I have the bruises to show for all of it.

My red team co-captain for the Gospel Fellowship Association’s family week was particularly concerned about a little girl I hadn’t really even noticed. I thought she was shy. He thought she wasn’t participating because there was something on her mind. I thought she had a bad attitude. He was worried about her.

Toward the end of the week, I spent an afternoon of free time with the girl and got to know her a little. The guy I was working with was incredibly perceptive. It turns out, she didn’t just need an attitude adjustment. She needed someone to shut up long enough to listen.

She needed to know there was someone else there who “fit in” even less than she did. To be pointed back to truth: who cares about comfort zones? Life following the Lord is a grand adventure for His glory, not our comfort.

Over cream sodas at Cool Beans, river tubing,  and a long walk around campus, I told her about being dragged around the world when I was a child–not for missions, but for phone books. She had to laugh at that one.

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