"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith."
- HEBREWS 12:1-2
This summer, The Swamp really focused on this scripture in Hebrews as the theme for the summer was "RACE." Not only did campers participate in exciting Olympic-themed competitions, but they also were exposed to the scripture in the various Bible lessons and devotionals. Campers learned about what it takes to focus on Jesus in our daily lives, to stay in our lane in order to run our race, and to throw off the things that hinder us from perseverance.
Today, we get to hear from Parker Helton from Nashville, Tennessee. Parker had the opportunity this summer to be a camper, teen worker and first-time counselor! And he's more than excited to share about his experience with camp's theme of "RACE":
"Thinking about the theme 'RACE' I realized that along this race I will have many different roles, just as I did at camp. There will be times I will just have fun, but there will also be times I'll have to deny myself and put others first even if they are crazy 9 year old boys who refuse to shower."
"After being at camp it helped me see how no matter where I am on this race my eyes should still be set on God. Even if I'm alone and my friends decide Jesus isn't for them I'm still running this race for God. No matter if I make a wrong turn I'm still in this for God. When things don't go my way I'm still running for God. If I stumble I'm still doing this for God. Camp has been an awesome reminder of what it is to be a disciple, and has helped me see how I'm definitely not alone on this race. I have an army of brothers and sisters on the same side as me from all over the world. If that's not encouraging I don't know what is. This army we have is all running this race together, not only will God pick me up if I fall, but that army will pick me up as well and run right along with me. Without Swamp I wouldn't have the relationships I have with people from all over. Swamp has given me lifelong friends who are wholeheartedly running the race with me. I can't express how grateful I am enough for camp and for the theme 'RACE' this year."
Thanks for sharing, Parker! I love that he shared about the how incredible it is that we have one another as we run our races. And it relates very well to another aspect of the theme "RACE". With everything going on in our country, racial issues and conflicts have become such taboo topics, especially in the church. Well this summer at The Swamp, older campers had a a very impactful conversation about racism and prejudice. The point of this devotional was not to fix the racial issues that arise, but to simply talk about them, to be more aware.
Thankfully I had the privilege to sit in on one of these devos this summer, and one thing that I definitely took away from it was that the issue of racism in our country is not going to be solved through anger and hatred, and it definitely won't be solved when we are divided. We need one another now more than ever, because it isn't something we can do alone. We have to be able to lift each other up, spur one another on, and listen and understand one other. Grieve and mourn with one another. Rejoice with one another. And that's how we are going to more forward.
Until next week,
Dec. 29-Jan. 1
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