Thursday, June 29, 2006

Send This to Your Favorite Camp Counselor

Here is some perspective from Nik Lingle that I wish I had grasped during my three summers in a camp ministry:
The second lesson is that pride often spurs me to attempt to produce spirituality in order to exceed the spirituality of others. For instance, I just arrived at Northland Camp to serve as a counselor for the next nine weeks, and I’ve spent this week in training with about 150 other staff members. Upon arriving I immediately found myself trying to gauge the spirituality of others with one intent: to compare myself to them and decide if I was ahead of them or behind them. This comparison tendency leads to insecurity, and for me, it also leads to an attempt to beef up my own spirituality in order to exceed theirs. But at that point my attempt at spirituality becomes inevitably fruitless. The pursuit is motivated by pride, sustained by pride, and is bound to end only in a spiral of more pride.

Here's one other way I see pride in my life. In the camp atmosphere, with highly competitive teams and various ad hoc groups organized to complete various tasks around camp, leadership is highly valued. So in a supposedly competitive atmosphere, I’ve found myself inching my way past others in search of positive, public recognition, and hopefully, great prominence and leadership. It may be hard to understand what I’m saying outside of the camp context, but basically, I’ve found myself envying the leadership of others (meaning I crave it so badly that I wish they didn’t even have it). But I get so busy doing mental gymnastics about how to maneuver my way ahead of others that I’m blinded to that fact that it’s not about competition. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. My purpose ought to be to serve them, not to lord over them with the intent of self-exaltation.
Read the whole thing.

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