I was blessed with 108 (give or take) fantastic, terrific, fantasterrific days of summer. For about 75% of the summer, I did a decent job of giving regular status updates what I was doing, who I was seeing, where I was going, etc. (Then that last quarter got away from me…) Some of you probably just kept scrolling Facebook, but others Liked and commented and followed my adventures online. The beauty of Facebook is that you hear about all the things that are going on in another person’s life. The annoyance of Facebook is that you hear about all the things that are going on in another person’s life. I hope I didn’t bore and truly hope I didn’t annoy anyone with my status updates. I don’t believe I ever posted anything like this:
And I don’t think I posted too many pictures of my lunch, so we should be good. Although this sandwich looks pretty tasty.
The truth is this: Most of the time, I was not writing my status updates to the world or to my friends, but to myself. The act of airing such messages publicly opened up conversations and opportunities, but all along I was telling myself, “See Evan, there is a whole wide world out there!” You see, this summer was the first summer since 2004 that I actively chose to not spend my summer working at Forest Glen (I missed 2009, but that wasn’t by choice and is another story…) Eight years of working as a Junior Counselor, Senior Counselor, and then Leadership were a mix of joy, growth, challenge, pain, delight, and fun. Camp has been such a wonderful place for me all these years, and yet I sensed God drawing me away from camp.
That is also another story for another day, but I definitely knew in the summer of 2012 that it would likely be my last full summer out there. Sure, the camp director joked around that he figured I’d be back, and sure I planned on visiting when I could, but I knew I couldn’t give my whole summer to camp again—unless God threw open some doors I sensed He was closing. So as I approached this summer, I knew that it would be very different. It would be all over the place, literally, with travels to England and Canada, drives across America, and visits with friends and family from May to August.
You know that phrase, “When God closes a door, He opens a window” ? It has some truth to it; however, no matter how nice the window is, you can’t help but look back fondly on the door and how you didn’t have to squeeze through a small opening in the middle of the wall to get on to the next place. I prefer to think that when you let God close a door (getting yourself out of the way and your hands off of the knob), He opens another door to another place greater and grander than what you expected. You might still look back at Door #1 and wonder what could have been if you stuck with that door, but when you relish and truly delight in all you find behind Door #2, you discover a satisfaction stronger than regret.
So all those statuses about visiting with church pals and assisting in VBS and cutting my hair were all reminders, messages to myself saying, “See Evan, there is a great big world beyond camp. It’s different, yes. You’re missing out on things, yes. But there’s so much out here, so much to do and see. Enjoy!” The lesson of Summer 2013 is that God opens doors and allows for many great opportunities and blessings when you allow yourself to be open—and let Him close a door.
And even with a closed door, sometimes you get to open it again for a couple minutes– or maybe even a week! I assumed I wouldn’t work at camp again, but they let me come back for a week, and boy was that an adventure!
So the next few posts will be about these 108* days of summer vacation—I got 4 more than Phineas and Ferb—and all that I experienced, learned, did, saw, and enjoyed: all of God’s blessings. So tune in— I’ll try not to be boring!
*Can’t help but think of the prominence of 108 on “Lost”
And for your entertainment…