I have probably been to more summer camps in my life than anyone else reading this blog. In my former life (as a kid) I tagged along with my family every summer as my dad spoke at different camps and conference centers all across the United States. We traveled thousands of miles, starting off in my home state of Florida and sometimes traveling as far away as Portland, Oregon. Over the years our summer stops included camps in Texas, West Virginia, Colorado, and New Mexico.
In my current life (as a musician) I still get to travel to camps every summer. Leading praise and worship for a bunch of screaming energetic teenagers is one of the highlights of my year. Not only do I get to participate in wonderful times of praise and worship and hear some of this country’s top speakers, I also get to experience some of the world’s longest zip lines, climb some of the highest ropes courses, and ski behind some of the coolest boats. It’s an awesome job!
One of my favorite camp activities is “blobbing.” If you have been to a summer camp in the last fifteen years, you know what I’m talking about. It’s kind of an X-games version of jumping on a trampoline. Someone sits or kneels (or assumes whatever posture the lifeguard will let them get away with) at one end of a partially inflated giant airbag while someone else jumps off a platform at the other end, lands on the airbag and launches the first participant into the air – and hopefully into the water and not onto dry land. Fun and excitement are added in the form of tricks that are performed while that participant is in midair. I love to launch – and I really love being launched! It’s the only event where I can experience big air without encountering big hurt.
So, anyway, how can I give this physical activity some kind of spiritual significance? Well, the other day as I was climbing the platform to launch a 70-pound middle schooler, I noticed how meticulously my blobbee was preparing himself for my assault. I snickered, and then began to taunt him, realizing that no matter how carefully he tried to secure himself or how conscientiously he adjusted his balance, sooner or later he was going to land in the water.
It reminded me of a lesson God had been teaching me about my walk with Him: No matter how prepared I am for the onslaughts of life, sooner or later, something or someone is going to knock me off balance and send me flying out of my comfort zone. It’s not a question of “if” – it’s only a matter of “when.” But preparing myself for the upcoming difficulties can determine how well I will land.
I have noticed that if I start on my knees, when I am being “blobbed,” I can do more tricks and enjoy the journey more than from any other position. And if I face the blobber, I can anticipate the bounce, and sometimes I can even land back on the blob instead of being tossed into the water. The same is true in my spiritual life. The best position for me to be in when I encounter Satan’s attacks is on my knees. Colossians 4:2 tells me that I need to stay alert. It says, “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.”