I spent all of last week at camp. It was the best week of my summer. Hayley, Justin, Evan, Sarah, Lacey, Alexa, Devan, Lyndonn, Grace, Melanie, Jordon, Sam, Will, and Nathan were all in my life, and I got to know them all better than I did before. At first, I was skeptical about my cabin—I heard they were the difficult girls. My first night, after having a difficult time getting my 9th graders to shut up, I was startled from my near-sleep by a pinch on my shoulder blade. I instinctively swatted my hand where I had felt the sensation. The contact was met with a distinct CRUNCH. Yes: I had just killed a bug that was inside my shirt. Yes: it had bitten me. Yes: I was just going to lie there silently. At that point, I would have rather died in my bed from spider venom than have given those girls another excuse to wake up.
After that night, however, things improved. I truly grew to love my girls, along with our cabin studies and bug hunting competitions. The thing that most stuck out to me at camp was how happy everyone was, just to be there with each other. Their love for one another, and for God, was evident. With pre-meal singings and late-night hikes, I had a lot to be thankful for. One of my favorite talks I heard all week was about roaches. The speaker talked about roaches, and how meaningless they are, how they serve no purpose at all. Then he said we should all be grateful that we are different from cockroaches, we have a purpose: to serve God.
Now, as many of you know, I work for Chick-Fil-A. So, I couldn’t very well avoid sharing my side of the chicken war, what with all the publicity it’s getting right now. Disclaimer: nothing that I have to say has any relation to the views held by Chick-Fil-A. Ok. Cool.
August 1 was madness. Completely unlike anything I had ever seen before. I got 10 minutes off to go eat a sandwich, on the ground, outside. The rest of the day was just a huge blur of chicken. In the dining room, it was standing room only. At one point, I looked out my drive thru-window, and noticed a mob of jovial people. Then, I realized that the mob was actually the line—the line to get INTO the building. When I was outside, I had a 3 way stop of cars taking turns getting into the drive-thru. People were waiting around an hour for their “fast” food. Do you want to know the craziest part about it? Almost everyone I came in contact with was happy. Joyful. Pleasant. Excited. I say “almost everyone,” because I came across about 5 people who had not heard about what was going on, and found themselves caught up in some sort of strange Disney Land style line for a chicken sandwich. These people were upset, bewildered, and hurried. They did not share the joy or camaraderie that everyone else displayed.
Now it is time for a brief and pertinent time out to listen to one of my favorite songs: Seize The Day “Nothing can break us, No one can make us, Give our rights away.”
So what sets August 1 apart? Why isn’t every day like that? It would sure make my life easier, if everyone was always so willing to wait an hour for their food, if everyone was always so kind and warm. Customers on Wednesday were at the store with a PURPOSE. They had a meaning for being there. They were not just there to eat chicken, they were there to make a statement, to prove a point, and to be supportive to others. The hour long wait and the shortage of food was turned into a good thing! These were signs that it was working. It didn’t really matter if there were no more peach shakes, they weren’t really there for the food anyway. That wasn’t the main point. An hour in line meant an hour to spend talking to new friends, with whom you had a common bond. This is all in contrast to the regular day, when the point is to get your food, eat it, and get back to work. Every minute is an hour; every person ahead of you is a barrier. If they run out of the shakes, you just go to Wendy’s.
Isn’t this kind of like how life is? If we truly have our purpose set on standing up for Christ, sacrificing for Him, encouraging fellow Christians, and ultimately getting to heaven, then it changes everything. My life doesn’t come with the job that I wanted in stock? Well, I guess I’ll try a different flavor. I have to live in a place I would rather not? Well, I’ll get to form relationships with Christians in that area. When I encounter persecution and trials, I can rejoice that His plan is working.
It doesn’t matter how long I wait or how many setbacks I encounter, because I have a purpose.
I don’t have time or energy to tell you all about Whimsic Alley, Hayley’s “Visit,” Tie Dying, or all that other fun stuff. Instead, here’s 15,000 words worth of pictures.