As I continue to look at the topic of being Super, I am reminded of all sorts of lessons that I have learned over the years about how “not to be super.” You know…those times in your life which you wished had never happened! Well, like it or not, those are the times that have taught me some of my most valuable lessons, which have certainly helped me as life has gone on. Today I am going to share one of those lessons with you…to give you a smile…but also to share another thought about our topic of being “Super.”
During my younger years I went to a camp called, “Mini-Yo-We” in Port Sydney. It was a great growing time for me and eventually I became a counsellor at this camp. My specialty was campcraft…you know…outdoors stuff like orienteering, paddling, camping, fire starting, outdoor cooking…etc. I thought that I was pretty good at it. At any rate, I counselled for a few years then went off to university and other summer activities. In the last year of university, the camp called me and asked if I could come and counsel for a week, at the main outtripping camp. I had time, so I said yes!
When I arrived, I met the canoe trip director for that summer, Randi. She and I hit it off right away. She was really glad to have me there because she needed the help with the senior canoe trip…I was happy to tell her how, “super” I was at that activitiy! (oh no…I dug that pit again).
This particular year our outtripping group consisted of two female leaders, one male leader and twelve 14 year old girls…who were all googoo-eyed about the presence of a “male” on our all girl canoe trip! (This was a new policy decision of the camp to protect our girls from strangers). At any rate it did change the tone of the trip. Gone were the bad hair days and old torn tops and shorts…in were the latest fashion in outdoor wear, makeup and stylish hair…good grief- so much for husky trippers!! Suddenly our troup of outtrippers could no longer pick up canoes, cut firewood or start fires with “his” help! The other unexpected impact was that it became necessary to dig the john much farther away from the camp, just in case, he…should see! Quite an inconvenience and as you will see a recipe for disaster!
The first day of our canoe trip we paddled across a large lakes and set up our campsite on the point of an island. Chores were done…including digging the john way across the island…instructions on how to find it were given to all.
At last…everyone was fed, and tucked into their tents, while our male leader made a hasty retreat to his tent. Randi and I made the rounds then decided to visit the john before hitting the sack.
We headed off to find the john in the dark, with a very small flashlight. “Let me see now, you walk to this rock, then turn right, then walk to the tree and turn left, then walk to the stump and turn right. Then the john should be straight ahead, behind the next tree, is that right?” I asked her.
“Yes, there it is. Good job,” said she.
We completed our business, laughing at the absurd distance the john was from the campsite. Man, you couldn’t even hear or see the campsite from here! We turned around and retraced our steps back to…nowhere. What happened to the campsite? We laughed and turned around to go back to the john to try again. We found it and again retraced our steps, carefully checking the directions with each other as we went, and again we found—nothing!
Then the giggling started. How absurd it was that the head of camp craft (the person who teaches orienteering and out-tripping skills) and her equally qualified helper were lost at night in the bush!
Having contemplated this embarrassment, we carefully retraced our steps back to the john. Or at least we tried to, but this time we didn’t find it. Now this was beginning to look a bit serious. We shone the flashlight around in a full circle and noted that all the trees looked very much the same in the glow of our small light. After reviewing our situation and carefully and calmly weighing the options, we chose the only logical course of action—we screamed for help, then waited, fully expecting our hitherto unwanted male counsellor to come charging through the bush to our rescue. And we waited, and waited and waited, but he never arrived. In fact, there were no human sounds to be heard at all except ours. Man, we would have to get a male who was a heavy sleeper!
This was ridiculous. Two grown women, senior counsellors, responsible for this canoe trip and for the lives of twelve campers, lost, while our campers slept! How mortifying! How very “non-super.”
At last, after we had exhausted all other options, we prayed. God did not instantly teleport us back to the campsite, but He did bring to mind the fact that we were on an island and were camped on the shoreline. Bingo—that was the answer!
With a prayer on our lips and thankfulness in our hearts, we proceeded to beeline our way across the island, using the bright skies as a guide, until the shoreline was reached. Then we walked along the shoreline until the campsite was found. Exhausted, we collapsed into our tent.
A valuable lesson had been learned. Don’t rely on your own “SuperStrength or SuperWisdom.” Learn to turn to our Super God…pray first, not last.
Someone truly Super…walks by faith…not by sight!
Bye for now