Today is my first day back in the “real world” after spending 10+ days at the annual summer camp I attend. It’s a rough day. I miss friends dearly while at the same time enjoying central air conditioning and a private bathroom. It’s complicated!
Each year we study stories from the Bible together. This year we studied the life and inner meaning of Joseph—the one with the colorful coat. The over-arching theme being that God is with us no matter what we are experiencing in life. The inner meaning being how we are developing our spiritual nature in a world focused on external gratification. We had a different presenter each day—I gave my presentation on the opening day of lectures. It was a gift to hear the theology I love presented by a wide variety of people. The discussions were enriching and I will hang on to them throughout the year ahead.
We also attended morning and evening chapel services as a community, ate together, and played together. I watched young children run into the chapel “to get the best seat,” teens (30 of them!) love and support one another, my peers support our older campers, and I enjoyed giving reading to two of my elders who respect my spiritual gifts. I also stockpiled a great deal of love from my support system of close friends.
This year was difficult for me as I am STILL recovering from my sprained ankle. The camp is mobility-centric and there was a lot that I missed out on. At the same time, I have friends who made sure I was doing what I could to rest and recover. I am blessed.
The story of Joseph is one of restoration and redemption. We run in cycles in our spiritual growth between temptation, repentance/reformation, reconciliation and peace. According to the theology I love, this cycle is on an upward trajectory and even when we can’t feel it we are gaining traction and new ground—assuming we are engaged in the process! We are built for change and transformation whether we acknowledge it or not. We are the catalysts in our lives—with the help of the Divine, of course. The story of Joseph is one of hope…this is what I keep in my back pocket: hope.
Does this resonate with you?
What is your story?