What an incredible privilege Scud and I have working with the summer Interns at Woodleaf. This year we have fourteen college age-or recently graduated (YEAH FOR THEM!) friends from around our country that are giving 13-14 weeks of their summer to serve at Woodleaf.
They are an amazing, hard-working, fun-loving group of kids that have quickly bonded and become "family". They love and care for each other, they serve each other, pray for each other and tease and joke with each other day in and day out all summer long.
We have now passed the half way point of their stay-something they do not want me to talk about. Last night at our meeting, I asked them to give me three words that would describe how they were feeling right now. Listening to their answers was encouraging and so hopeful to hear.
Of course a number of them said they were tired. They have worked very hard for over seven weeks; doing things they never imagined they would, being asked to do just one more thing in a day when they already are physically exhausted. So surprised to hear the word "tired"- not at all.
The word that did surprise me over and over again , was "content".
I was blown away by that answer. How do 20-23 year olds really know about contentedness? Isn't this the generation who is always looking for more exciting things to do? Yet, over and over again, I heard that word.
Dictionary.com (what?? ususally I got straight to Webster's. call me lazy) defines the word "content" as being satisfied with what one is or has, not wanting more or anything else.
These youngsters are giving me a run for my money. (where the heck did that expression come from anyways?). Needless to say, this has caused me conflicting emotions this morning. Here are these 14 folks working their tails off for the entire summer at basically minimum wage or less, and they are content and totally satisfied being here. And they are kicking me in the butt.
One of my jobs is to challenge this group spiritually in the summer. And yet, this group is now challenging me. Just as the apostle Paul does in his letter to the Philippians, in the 4th chapter, where he says : "I have learned the secret to being content in whatever the circumstance."
Just recently, I have had lost the contentedness that I have had for years living at Woodleaf. I have been thinking of how much longer are we here?
What does God have in store for us next? When can I get back to the "real world"?
It took me over nine months to learn to be content living in the middle of nowhere, and that feeling has not moved for over six years.
Yet now, why now, is that feeling that I want more than this, rearing its ugly head.
Is this a ploy of satan to get me off track? Undoubtebly , yes.
Could it be that the continuous turn over in camping staff is hard to adjust to?
Could it be that out of my three small groups, now only one is really in college? And what does that mean? Am I feeling too old to start all over with new freshman come August? And how do I stay on Young Life College staff when I am more excited about keeping the older girls than starting with brand new ones?
Could it be that I know my time is limited to work as a nurse, and I just want to be a nurse again?
Could it be that I want to be more available to watch those sweet little boys that call me Grammy?
I really don't have any answers.
What I do know is that even in the midst of this, I want to be obedient to God.
I want His way and will. Not mine.
I desire to be like my Intern Friends and be content-exactly where the LORD has planted me for this season and not to run ahead and try to figure out what is next.
But to WAIT. And learn to look to the LORD for what He has in store for me during this period of restlessness.
One thing I know for sure is that GOD has something to say to me during this process and I do not want to miss out.
THANK YOU my sweet Interns for teaching me a thing or two.
You are never "too old" to learn something.
And we more "mature" people (aka "getting old") have so much to gain from being friends with people who are much younger than us. They remind me of the preciousness of life. They make my mind recall what it means to be steadfast and persevere. They remind me often of the blessings God bestows on us as we seek to obey and serve Him.
They make me so grateful for the privilege I have to be with them.