Most boys are scared. It must be something they are born with. Some are afraid of the dark, afraid of the first day of school, afraid to fight, afraid to dance, afraid to ask a girl out, afraid to make a tough decision, or afraid to fail. They end up spending a lot of energy “hiding,” hoping nobody will catch on. Sadly for men, some things never change.
I must admit – I, too, am afraid of the dark.
I don’t mean the “dark” that is in reference to the absence of light. I mean the “darkness” of the unknown. It is the place of confusion or disorder; a place outside of my control where any movement at all requires faith. This place of uncertainty keeps many people paralyzed in fear, and unwilling to move.
Abram must have felt that fear. After all, God didn’t choose to make the exact destination clear to him when He called him out. Instead, he just gave him the direction in which to go.
Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you wil be a blessing.'” Genesis 12:1-2 (ESV)
I’ve had the same conversation with many groups of young men, over the years, who wanted to know what it looked like to live as a godly man. In those conversations, I’ve challenged them to step into this kind of darkness, and not to insulate themselves from it. It might be taking the first step to apologize to their wife, or choosing to trust God in the midst of pain and suffering. Stepping into the darkness might mean doing the very thing you don’t feel like doing.
The bottom line is this: Faith requires mobility.
Following Christ brings a contentment that is foreign to this world, but following Christ also requires us to step out of that which is extremely comfortable at times as well. This is where my family and I find ourselves right now.
It’s time to move.
After 15 great years of being on staff at Pine Cove, I have let our CEO, Mario Zandstra, know that it’s time for me to step out into the unknown to find that next place that God has for me and my family. We will soon be leaving Pine Cove.
As you can imagine, this decision is not one we came to flippantly. Steph and I have been talking and praying about this for many months now. We really labored over the idea of leaving, partly because of the great relationships I have with the people I work with, but also because of our deep love and belief in the mission of Pine Cove.
To be clear…
I know when a decision like this is announced, minds start racing, looking for the “inside scoop.” There is nothing “more to this story,” shall we say. I am not mad, hurt, annoyed, disgruntled, perturbed – or any other type of negative feeling – at Pine Cove or anyone at Pine Cove…at all. I have not been asked to leave, insinuated by someone else that it is time for me to leave, or required to leave.
This is a case of God leading, and us following. After all, faith requires mobility.
If you follow this blog, you might know that I have written in the past that our staff rarely leave Pine Cove. Instead, they are launched. There is a big difference. After being honed, trained, and invested in, our staff are launched to that next place God has for them. I am no different.
Over the course of the months ahead, I will still be pushing for us to get everything in place to provide a great, safe summer camp experience for families and youth. During that same time, I will begin the process of talking to other ministries, churches or non-profits to discern where God is leading us.
We still believe…
I have seen God transform scores of people in a summer camp setting. I trust He will continue to do it with many more people far into the future. Steph and I believe in that so much, we will continue to support Pine Cove in any way we can in the future. Crazy enough for us, this summer will be the first time we have a child as a camper at Pine Cove. It will be fun to finally be that nervous parent that I have greeted for so long on opening days.
For any of you that are summer staff preparing to come this summer, get ready. God will do more in you than you can possibly imagine. I can say that confidently, having witnessed many great things over my time here. I will hopefully be there to walk you through our “Pine Cove Way,” and to help get you ready for the best summer of your life.