Monday, June 27

The Palms

“And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope does not disappoint, because God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” [Romans 5:3-5 HCSB]

From where I sit, I can hear the waves crashing against the shoreline….the ebb and flow of the sea speaking to my sailor’s heart, beckoning me back upon her surface. I can see, even in the darkness of the night their foamy tops piling upon the cooling sands of the beach. I am thankful for the ability to sit out here on the balcony of the condo that Trinity has rented (a series of them for the whole group) for the week. We arrived without much fanfare around 4 o’clock and were introduced to our berthing quarters and ‘bunkies’ for the week. Four of the teen age guys are in my condo apartment and they already share an easy rapport with each other. Me, I’m the unknown in their equation.

But then, I am for the whole group. We all just met each other yesterday at 8:00 am in the morning and then spent the next 24 hours or so travelling in a bus through Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama to get to the coast. We lost a tire on the trailer to blow out in Kentucky and then the trailer to a broken tongue in the upper part of Alabama. I have driven over a thousand miles and have spent twenty-two hours in the driver’s seat of the Bluebird.

We have experienced a lot already to get here and even some difficulties after we arrived.

With the way traffic is in this place and the necessity to get the group five miles down the road to the Wharf Arena, I’ve decided to hang with the group during their ‘camp’ experience. I can already feel God challenging me in this place.

The interesting thing the Pastor said tonight during the first session was……… “Christ is better than………..”

It was an very good sermon, though I do have to wonder at some of the things he’s eluded to and how I (along with the others) will react to it.

Even as I wonder the intelligence of coming on this trip with a bunch of strangers, I can see the answer to that question about Christ and how the verse fits into the overall uncomfortableness of the week just begun. I can marvel at the way, once again, that Christ ties in everything that seems to be challenging me lately and how He brings the assurance of the path He has prepared for me to take, if I would be willing.

They are a great bunch of teenagers, I can tell that by their leaders and how they handle the rigors of the trip.

Even in this place, far from the comforts of my life I can be devoted to Christ in such a manner that my service to these Trinity students and their leaders is reflective of that character and that hope that does not disappoint. Not for my sake nor even for theirs but because that is what Christ would have me do….live the Gospel and use words if necessary.

And to look with eager eyes to what He has laid ahead of my footsteps with delightful anticipation, for this week and the weeks ahead!

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