This past week, I went to Burton, Texas and spent a week at camp. This isn’t going to be a post of the great things I saw God do, and all the platitudes that go along with it. No, it was just a week at camp. The camp I participated in is called: Camp Star Trails. Camp Star Trails is an overnight camp for Children's Cancer Hospital patients and their siblings ages 5-12. It is not a faith based camp, simply a time for kids to be kids. Going into the camp, I needed to be away from my internship. I haven’t really been enjoying my work, the shady hotel I’m staying where I’ve seen drug deals, arrests, and you can only imagine the rest. Breaking up is always hard to do as well, no matter how much you plan for it, it’s tough losing your companion. So, to say camp was needed is an understatement. I was ready to leave past the job, living, and girl problems, and just be with kids, and to be a kid as well. That’s what I did, and that’s what I needed.
So, I was a kid with everyone else. I drank too much chocolate milk, sang karaoke, sang in the shower, ate way too much pudding and chicken fried steak, and probably had too much fun. There’s also another thing I forgot how to do, and that was complain. Mainly because of an example of one young man I had in my cabin. I will call him Caleb. Caleb was in a wheelchair and had no use of his lower body from his waist down. He also had the biggest smile on out of anybody. I got the chance to spend a lot of time with him, because he needed to be pushed a lot. We would talk a lot about sports, movies, when the Astros would be good again, you get the idea. Then we would talk about some of the hardships we were going through. He would talk about how he hated being a burden on his family, because of his cancer, and the cost he knew it was putting on his family. Then, I would formulate the things I wanted to say about how my heart hurt over a girl, that I didn’t like my job, I hated where I lived, but then my mind and thoughts simply changed, all because of pushing Caleb in a wheelchair for a week. He made me ashamed to complain about anything, because of how strong he was to me. There’s a quote I came to know by Wayne Dyer that goes like this, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” That’s what Caleb taught me this past week. I changed my perspective here’s the before and after.
Before: My heart hurts over a girl, I don’t like my job, I hate where I live.
After: Thank you for letting me feel and not be a robot, thank you for the opportunity to have a job, thank you Lord for giving a roof over my head and a functional deadbolt.
That sounds a lot better, and it really is all about changing the way you look at things. You can spend your whole life asking what if, and thinking things would be better if you were just with that one person, or if you would be there, or that, but really you have to live in the moment. In the circumstances you have been given, and make the most out of what you have. Daydreaming is easy, fantasizing about what you can or could have been is dangerous. Live in the present, be a force of love now, whether it’s at a dead end job, or you’re finding a lonely stranger who is struggling to find happiness, remember lots of people are hurting. We do better, when we confess and share with one another, at least it works for me. Thanks Caleb for being strong and showing me that you can go anywhere you want to, no matter your physical limitations.
As I end this post acting like a child it feels only right to leave you with some Dr. Seuss,
““Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”