Having been to the previous year's camp, I was eager. I knew that I would get excited about God again, be refreshed from my dull and achey life, and be able to go back to the real world, prepared to continue being a light for Christ in it.
It was a five day camp, and on the first day, I got sick. I was feverish and confused. I stumbled to my camp dorm, nearly blacking out several times along the way, and once I found my bed, slept for 5 hours. It was dark when I woke up. I felt as if I had missed something colossal- the first day of camp. That day was special, I thought, and I had missed it. The second day was better, but I was still weak from yesterday's shakiness, so I wandered through the day, trying as hard as I could to get enthusiastic the way I remembered I had been last year, but failing miserably. The third day, I woke up late. I missed breakfast, and nearly missed the morning's main meeting. I quelled my temper, doing my best not to let out my disapointment and frustration. That was treacherously difficult. But as I learned later, well worth it.
It got easier that day, because I started leaning on God for the strength I realised for the umpteenth time that I did not have. I didn't have it in me, and once I realised this, the strength seemed to flow out of nowhere. I was not excited. But I was strong. I was tired, but I was strong. I had God, and he was being the person that I could not be for those five days. I found myself encouraging people, and loving them in ways that they found so powerful. God was making me beautiful, even when I knew that my weakness and frustration could have made me callous and ugly.
This was an immense realisation. On a camp, I expect to flow into a 'God-high', an ethereal feeling, but one that only lasts a few days or a few weeks after the end of camp. I didn't get it this time, and I was initially disappointed. However, I've found that I do not need it to advance my relationship with Christ. God does not always teach us through hype and excitement. Most of the time he teaches us in and through our pain and apathy. I'm allowed to let him use my weakness to teach me how to walk.
The art of 'walking' in Christ is an intriguing, difficult, and yet oh-so-simple thing to learn. It doesn't rely on the emotions. It relies on the Word of God. It recognises that the truth of God is solid, no matter how our feelings sway us. It recognises that just because I am 'feeling' alone, does not mean that I am. It recognises that a sense of excitement or particularly, 'hype' does not determine if I am saved or awakened. 'Walking' is based on the firm, unchanging truth of God, and not on our unstable and ever-changing emotions. And realising this actually produces one of the best emotions to be found in the universe: peace.
As there has been no emotional high to come crashing down from, I have found that I was simply propelled forward into real life since coming back home. This has been a beautiful, if short journey to now. I've only been home 24 hours, but I have been content in that time. I've been at peace knowing the truth of God, no matter how my emotions batter and toss me about. I am learning the incredible joy of this peace: that which transcends all understanding, and which is guarding my heart and mind in Jesus Christ (Phillipians 4:7).
I am learning to walk, and this is a lovely thing.