“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made , so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20 (NIV)
What happens when campers are truly vulnerable to God’s glory expressed in creation?
As a summer adventure guide, I pray that each and every camper experiences God in such a way that changes them even as they go beyond Rock-N-Water’s adventures. The beauty of the Summer adventure ministry is that staff have an opportunity to see Romans 1:20 expressed tangibly as campers see the omnipotence of Christ through adventures in his creation.With this in mind, this past summer I had the privilege of trip-leading a group of four campers who truly challenged my perspective of God working through adventure ministry and our lives altogether!
A few days into our week-long trip, my campers and I joined another group on an adventure canyoneering through Superman Canyon (canyoneering incorporates hiking and swimming through beautiful canyons). It was an incredible day–beautifully clear water, great group cohesion and a lot of laughs throughout the trip. As we were nearing our days end and swimming the last few portions of the river, campers and staff alike were tired–rightfully so at the end of a long adventure! Out of no where, one of my campers, Evelyn, grinned from ear to ear as she spoke:
“Hey guys, I just thought of something: all of the adventures we have done this week relate to our relationship with God: when we rock climbed, I was so scared but I had to trust the rope, rock, and my belayer just like I have to trust God. When we rafted, the water was so powerful…the current was strong, but consistent–just like God!”
I was speechless. Is God awesome, or what?!
Eureka! God had used his creation and the adventures at Rock-N-Water to present himself in such a way that was relatable to Evelyn. My other campers chimed in with matching enthusiasm as they recognized the connection that night at campfire when Evelyn shared her discovery. It was a mile-stone for the spiritual growth of our group that week and sparked inspiring conversation and relationships amongst our group.
Firstly, God is awesome. God is faithful to reveal himself in such a way that is personal and specific to the needs of each person.
Secondly, God is alive and at work through adventure ministry. God is working everywhere, but there is something truly special, and humbling, when campers “unplug” from the world and experience God through his creation just like Paul notes in Romans 1:20.
Thirdly, see how active God is in the “adventures” that are our lives? God is just as involved and ready to reveal himself in our day-to-day lives as he is when we are swimming in a canyon. Our jobs, schools, families, etc, are all opportunities for God to reveal himself and remind us how we need to exercise such virtues as trust, faith and perseverance. Rock-N-Water summer camps are unique in the sense that they provide a way for campers to draw comparisons between their walk with Christ and the adventures experienced at camp–it’s a beautiful means for God to speak and campers to be radically impacted in a applicable way.
With this in mind, I hope this serves as an encouragement of the faithfulness of our God in revealing his truth and also as a challenge to look at our day-to-day “adventures” as a time for us to strengthen our relationship with Christ.
God is so, so good!
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3