It's a fascinating thing about reading books or at least, reading the books I choose to read. They are split into chapters. Grand concept, huh? But I find as I read that there are chapters that I rush through all too quickly and others, I am surprised to find myself at the end. This month, for me, many chapters have been and will be completed.
I am almost finished with The Silver Chair in the Chronicles of Narnia. Boy, I marvel again at anyone who struggles to see the parallels to Christianity in these books. They may not accept them, but to deny them simply pulls a shade over the sunlit window. I love Puddleglum, wet blanket though he may be. He stood when it made no sense to do so. I need a heavy dose of that kind of courage.
Today, I finished the final devotion in our staff devotion book for the summer. It is always bittersweet to come to this point. All summer long, we as a staff discussed the Scriptures and challenged one another with the insight God gave us. And even though I was not around any staff to discuss this, it felt like the summer had completely ended.
This week, many of the people who have grown up at New Life Camp and served God here and become good friends will be setting out on a new adventure - college. They will go out to Boone, Virginia Beach, Lynchburg, and other places. But they will no longer be here. The times of seeing their wonderful faces and hearing their laughter and stories have ended. Confound these blasted things called goodbyes. When have they ever been or felt good? When have they ever been good enough?
Finally, the end of a decade comes on Friday when I bid my twenties farewell. It has been a rich decade indeed and most of it, due to God's graciousness, has been spent at New Life Camp. What amazing things I have seen happen! I was there at the dedication of the original gym. I saw the additions of the conference room and activities office. Homeschool Enrichment and the New Life Storm were planted, watered, and grown with wonderful fruit. Upward Basketball spurred on two leagues and the creation of a brand new gym. And I took on the task of making videos. I wish you could the first one I made in 2002. It wasn't good at all looking back. But it was the start of what would become my personal ministry at New Life Camp. Still, all that pales in comparison to the children who have come to know Christ as Savior, have fallen in love with Him, and are now serving Him wherever they go.
Yes, the chapters are ending more quickly than I can turn the pages. But that is the beauty of the ending of chapters - it allows for new ones to begin. What stories will come in the next chapter of my life and the lives of those I have grown to love? Only God knows. One day, the story of my life will end, and I will find myself in something completely different - eternity. Chapters don't exist there anymore than the sun or moon to tell you the time of day. The goodbyes themselves will be bidden farewell. All the saints of all the ages will gather before the Savior. And we will recount the Story of Love that binds us all to His heart.
Chapters begin, chapters end. My Jesus never changes. I can't wait to see Him and be like Him.