Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Paul, Timothy, Titus and....church camp

Today's Guest Blogger is Joy Griffin.
Thanks Joy for lending us your thoughts!


I sent Alex to camp yesterday. This is the first time he has been away from us for any length of time and I have spent the past few days reminding him of everything I have tried to teach him over the past 9 years. The thought of him being on his own almost makes me sick! Will he brush his teeth? Will he get enough rest? Will he remember to put on bug spray? Will he eat enough at mealtimes? Oh my goodness...will he take a bath, or follow the advice of another child who said that going swimming in the lake during recreation counts as bathing? (I really think I’m gonna be sick) Will he remember the manners I have taught him? Will he respect the camp councilors and follow their instruction?

During all of this camp prep, I have also been getting ready for my second major test in New Testament. It is all about the Pauline epistles. I have been amazed at how what I’ve been studying has applied to sending Alex off to camp. So many letters from Paul to Timothy and Titus were instructions on how to relate to the new churches and about how they themselves were supposed to handle day to day life. It is easy for me to see Paul’s writings as that of a parent to a child... instructing on proper behavior and conduct in foreign places. Just like a parent, Paul knew more than Titus and Timothy and understood the challenges they would face. He also knew that, no matter how he tried to prepare them, Timothy and Titus would be on their own. Paul labored and cried many times over the details. (I have felt like crying a few times over the past few days too!)

Paul spent time teaching and guiding missionaries so that they could spread the gospel in foreign places and work with young churches. . .I am realizing more and more that parenting is the same. As Alex’s mom, it is my job to teach and guide him so that he can share Christ with the people he comes in contact with throughout the rest of his life. While I know that camp is one of the things I can “give” my son to help him grow, I also know that there are going to be many opportunities for him to flex his decision making muscles, and I’m not sure how strong those muscles are.

I have equipped him the best way I can to live the next week on his own without my presence.

Now it is up to him to do so.


Trusting Him,
Joy


(If church camp is this bad, I don’t know how I’ll ever survive sending him off to college! Thankfully, I have several years to prepare!)