“6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7
This past Tuesday I had the opportunity to preach at a camp meeting at Salem United Methodist Church. The camp meeting has been going on for over 150 years! One of my colleagues and friends is the Pastor of the church. He has been working on me for the past couple years to come, and be one of the guest preachers. I finally agreed to do it when he called me this year. And let me say, it was such a refreshing experience.
It was such a laid back yet inviting atmosphere as we met under the old arbor that has been on the property for years. Congregants and participants shared with me how when they came to the camp meeting as a child, the concrete floors didn’t exist. Rather, sawdust was brought in to cover the mud for the event. Originally it would last for ten days too!
The evening was full of singing as participants called out favorite hymns as well as kids playing on the grounds. No one stressed about the typical stressors on a Sunday. Rather, everyone gathered for a common purpose - to love God and be renewed by God’s Spirit. And was it ever renewing.
I found myself, after the fact, realizing how much I needed that moment of renewal. Life can get so hectic or focused that I fail to take time to allow God to speak words of life and hope to me. In the words of one of my favorite authors, Peter Scazzero, I get too busy doing for God rather than being with God. And this past Tuesday was an opportunity just to be with God. When we are with God, we get back to why we’ve been created. We’ve been created to enjoy communion or fellowship with the Lord. Tuesday was a reminder of that.
My prayer for each of us is we find time in our weekly routines to simply be with God. It is so refreshing and reviving!