Give me that spiritual feeling like at camp

While working on a sermon about stewardship this week, this came out as I typed. It most likely won’t make the cut, but wanted to put it somewhere…

I hear a common question from youth and young adults: why do I feel connected to God at camp and not in everyday life? As we grow older, I think we come to just accept that that’s just the way life is – life is most certainly not like camp.

But I wonder if there is another reason. Maybe the real reason is that most of our lives are not spent focusing on God, or worshiping and praying a few times a day, or discussing our lives and how God is involved in small groups, or listening to someone speak about God and the amazing stuff of grace. Most of us are fortunate to have that once a week for an hour. For those who volunteer in Children’s Ministry, they may get it twice a month. Some of you are only able to make it to church about once a month, some even less frequently.

We can’t wonder at our feeling of connection to God, when we spend so little time with God. A lot of this feels out of our control. Other things take priority – which is the very reason we needed things like camp when we were younger.

But, for followers of Jesus, why is Jesus not part of our every day. Is it because we just don’t feel it? Or is it because we haven’t taken a few minutes to acknowledge Him? Is it because we don’t feel it, or is it because we want the “spiritual feeling” but are afraid or unwilling to really obey Him? Is it because we don’t feel it, or is it because we only want Jesus on our terms, when we feel like it, or when we want him.

I’m not sure we really want the Jesus of the Bible all the time. I think we want the feeling of “camp God”, but I don’t think we want the Jesus who told the rich man to give away everything he had. We want the nice feeling of Jesus – but primarily we are not the people in need of the freedom and liberation that Jesus does provide. We, in north American Middle class Christianity are not the needy – rather we are people in need of the challenge that Jesus brings – and that’s really a Jesus we don’t want in our daily life.

This is felt most painfully in our bank accounts and in our accumulation of possessions, which of course, brings us to stewardship.

Maybe it will make the cut – we’ll see.


One thought on “Give me that spiritual feeling like at camp

  1. Hi Matt,
    Camp faith is special because of the retreat aspect, the removal from the mundane, but there’s something else. There’s that freedom from the bullshit of trying to keep the religious machinery chugging along. And it can’t be faux woodgrain authenticity, there’s lots of camp counselors selling a packaged Jesus; at its best it is the real stuff.
    Sometimes the real interesting stuff doesn’t make the cut, but it’s worth digging away at.

    Glad to know you’re still thinking. There’s a blog I’ve been following “United Methodeviations” where he’s ruminating on this sort of stuff.
    vide –


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