Happy Camper by Sharmon Coleman
I am NOT a camper. I own that I’m high maintenance because I like running water to wash my face and brush my teeth. I love having my automatic coffee maker that has my cup ready to fill when I wake up. And I NEED a lady’s room just a few steps away illuminated by a night light.
Imagine my surprise over Spring Break when my family booked a teepee on the side of a cliff for one night’s lodgings. It contained two beds (yay!), a lamp that didn’t work, and a porta potty 25 yards away. No face washing, teeth brushing, night light to a nearby, clean potty or coffee ready in the morning. I was speechless when we arrived and quickly began calculating how I was going to meet my “essential” needs. Over dinner, I mentally readjusted my attitude and how I could make the best of this adventure. My plan? Sleep in my clothes without washing my face or brushing my teeth, quit drinking fluids to eliminate midnight biological needs, and locate the nearest coffee shop and note the time it opened.
Since I decided to be a happy camper that night, my family had a delightful time and we watched an amazing sunrise the next morning. And, I thanked the Lord that we only spent ONE night!
As usual, the Father used this experience to reveal how to be spiritually happy camper in life:
- Remember: God is a good Father. If He allows difficulty in life, the situation has been filtered through His fingers of love and He has transformation in mind. Dear One, since God is good, put your faith in Who He is and not in what He’s doing. In Isaiah 55:8-9 He tells us, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways.”
- Ask good questions: Instead of “Why me?," ask God what He wants you to learn. Your questions determine your teachability or lack thereof.
- Reframe your inner dialogue: When challenging life circumstances arise, acknowledge the hardship and then turn it into a faith statement. For example: Father, my heart hurts watching my child struggle. Nevertheless, I KNOW that You love my child more than I do and that You are working for his/her good through the situation. Or, Father, I don’t know how I’m going to pay this bill. Nevertheless, You are my Provider and I know You will provide in Your time and Your way.
- Focus on the big picture: Life is hard whether we are His child or not. The wilderness journey between salvation and going home to Heaven will be filled with much unpleasantness. The very events that cause us physical, emotional or spiritual distress are actually the sandpaper in the Master’s hands that are transforming us into Jesus’ image.
Beloved, God is ALWAYS on His throne; nothing catches Him by surprise. Life’s trials either make you better or bitter. The choice is ours. Let’s choose to be HAPPY CAMPERS!