grow where you are planted

woo hoo! 100th blog post! do i get a prize or something?

last week at bridgeport camp was great. while i was there, i realized i had not been to junior high camp since i myself was that age-- say, 1984. gosh, have young boys changed since then! i remember how quiet and respectful i was at that age.. but now, forget about it! as i said on sunday in my sermon, the quality of conversation between the boys in the cabin left much to be desired-- specifially, i desired to be anywhere else! i am grateful to the camp directors, who with very little support did a great job. most importantly, the kids had a great time.

i spent much of the week at bridgeport asking God why i was there. i had not planned to go-- i honestly only went because i was afraid the dozen or so from prosper would be stranded at home if no adult attended. so whenever i had some free time, i concentrated on hearing God's voice-- what was my purpose? about mid-way in the week i realized there was a great chance i was being selfish, that my purpose was more about the young people than myself. some stuff happened later in the week that made me wonder further if God was trying to break through to me to get my attention-- stuff i cannot discuss here. who knows?

we often live a restless existence. jobs transfer us across the country with little notice or input from us. i've known spouses who worked in different states during the week, reuniting only for the weekend. kids move from school to school, never given enough time to connect with others. we do not allow ourselves to stop long enough to make an impression-- on others, on our spouses and kids, ourselves, and certainly not God. the old cliche about "settling down" is sort of "like a good neighbor"-- losing its meaning in a fast paced world.

while i was in d.c. in may, my church was in a fair amount of turmoil-- compounded by my absence. it was hard to know folk were struggling, and there was little i could do from the eastern time zone. in the midst of that, i made a commitment to "grow where i was planted"-- specifically in prosper, but really anywhere God leads me. i did not make up that phrase, so i can only assume it is based on one of my favorite scriptures, "i planted you, apollos watered you, but God gave the growth" (1 corinthians 3:6). it was written by paul, an apostle and church planter who wrote most of the new testament. apollos was another apostle who followed paul after he moved on to another church. the point is to always remember that whatever human influence we experience, it is ultimately God who makes us into who we are. if we wait long enough to be planted, watered, and allowed to grow.

why did i go to bridgeport? what was my purpose? maybe to serve communion to 200 young people on the last night of camp. maybe to reconnect in some strange way with my 12 year old self, buried under 25 years of other stuff. maybe none of the above. i may never know. as long as we are faithful, we will grow, because God is the ultimate example of faithfulness. i invite you to pause today and reconnect with the One who planted you. you may be feeling restless. or lost. maybe you're looking for the next big thing: promotion, relationship, challenge, to make you feel important or valued. or maybe it's not about you at all. maybe your purpose right now is for someone else. can you grow with that? can i?