One of the many blessings of our denomination is the mountaintop campground called Bonclarken. At the sight of that word, most of y’all will probably be filled with joyful memories of camps, conferences, and retreats. Some of y’all might be still looking at it, wondering if I made a typo because it looks like such a weird word! Rest assured, Bonclarken is correct! Bon for “good” and Clarken (a nice Scots word) for “clear vision” leaves our campground with the name “good clear vision.” I think that name fits. Here’s one example.
A couple weeks ago, Rebekah and I (as well as the children and my mother-in-law!) went up the mountain for Camp Joy. This camp for special needs people is a ministry both of us care for deeply. Rebekah was the camp nurse, and I was the camp minister. On the final night, I had the opportunity to do a short debriefing “down the mountain” talk with the (majority) high school aged counselors. The purpose of the talk was to attempt to bridge the gap between the mountaintop spiritual high that the majority of these young adults experienced with the valley lows that most of them feel in their day-to-day ordinary lives. I started off the talk with this question: “Why are you here this week at Camp Joy?” The answers varied. It is an opportunity to serve those that need it. It is an opportunity to learn about God. It is an opportunity to praise God. It is a place where serving God is the “cool” thing. It is a place to serve with other believers.
All of those answers (and there were more, too) were great! It was what I had hoped they felt - the mountaintop spiritual high. For those of you still wondering what in the world I’m talking about with those words, the mountaintop spiritual high is that feeling of closeness to God that results in power, confidence, assurance, joy, and contentment. I had only a few words for them after. Geography doesn’t matter, and I need them! Here’s how I explained that to them, and I think it is just as beneficial to us at Centennial. First, geography doesn’t matter! We are able to serve God wherever we are. God has given us the ability by his own Holy Spirit to choose to serve him or not. It might be easier when everyone else is doing it, too, but we can choose to serve! Secondly, I need y’all. As a minister, I definitely seek to live a life that reveals Jesus Christ, but I’m only one person. My family is only one part of Centennial. There is much more power to us a local church body seeking to collectively live lives that reveal Jesus in word and deed.
Many of us at Centennial have been to camp this last month, gone on vacation, or simply taken a collective deep breath in a summer month that is usually less stressful than others. Wherever y’all have been, I pray that there was that spiritual mountaintop experience, even if it’s simply noticing some stress of life melt away in the midst of the lazy, hazy, or even daze-y days of summer. It is not a geography thing, and I need y’all! Join with me in lives seeking to honor God. Be ready to speak of Jesus. And don’t be surprised when God works through Centennial! Blessings from down the mountain,