Some weeks back we were down in the amphitheater trying to start a fire with a bunch of wet wood. It had been raining for almost two weeks straight and everything was soaked. We tried and tried and even with gasoline we still couldn’t really get the fire going.
I was reminded of the prophet Elijah on Mt Carmel. Everything was completely soaking wet, no one would have been able to light the altar, but in the end Elijah sought God and he answered, and he completely consumed the altar in flames. I think the same can be true of our hearts. One could say that a soul not on fire is dead, soaked through with sin. Here at camp the aim is for everything to be structured to encourage people to seek God. He is all around us all the time, constantly speaking to us and pursuing us. But life is busy and even if we aren’t overtly running away from God we become occupied, from stress and excitement, or even monotony, and we don’t see him and we don’t hear him. So we go to camp where we can be removed from the routine of our lives and then maybe we can hear that still, small voice. Camp may look like it’s all about rappelling, going down the zip line, or riding horses, but really it’s about setting our hearts close to the eternal fire of Jesus Christ, remembering our covenant to him and reorienting ourselves, or even meeting him for the first time. All the fun activities that we do here at camp are just kindling. God is with you, he wants the best for you, he wants you to know him, and he wants to burn away all the sin in your heart with the blood of his Son. But we don’t have to wait for that one week of camp to pursue him, he’s here right now.
That night in the amphitheater we were eventually able to get a fire started, but the fact is that truly wet wood doesn’t burn. And it wasn’t until we went and dug deep into the wood pile for some dry wood that the fire really started to burn hot. God is the only one that can really turn wet wood into a fire, all we can do is to try to be like Elijah and set things up and seek him, and he takes care of the rest.