Let’s start with story time! Read the following story* and see if you can find yourself in this adventure:
Once upon a time there were 4 friends who were going camping: Derek, Izzy, Sofia, and Carl.
Derek was determined to be the first one there. He wanted to get started, and hoped they would put up the tents or build a fire right away. He didn’t want to have to wait around.
All the way to the campground, Izzy couldn’t stop talking--nonstop! She was so excited. She had camped last summer, and had so many thoughts about all the fun she was going to have again this
Sofia had spent the week before the trip making treats to bring, to share with everyone. She packed an extra toothbrush because someone always forgot one. She was a little nervous, but instead of thinking about that she decided to think about things she could do to help everyone else feel welcome.
Carl had taken forever to pack. He made a list, and ended up having 4 bags worth of gear. Right before it was time to go, he undid and repacked them all again to make sure he hadn’t forgotten anything. He brought matches in case they ran out, an extra pillow in case his got dirty, and a telescope because he wanted to look at the stars at night.
The first day went quickly, as they got camp set up and everything settled. After dinner, they all decided to sit around the campfire. As it got darker, and the stars came out, the group got pretty quiet. Honestly, it was a little spooky! Derek started thinking he heard noises in the woods. He was on alert, prepared to jump up and tackle anything that came out at them. Izzy kept looking at her friends, making sure they were still there. The worst thing would be to be left alone in the woods! Sophia was worried there would be a snake in her sleeping bag, and wondered if anyone would help her if there was. She knew she’d help anyone else if they found a snake in their bag! Carl thought about all the ways they could escape if the fire got out of control or the tents zippers all got stuck or the car got a flat tire.
Finally Derek noticed it was very late, and ordered everyone to go to bed. Tomorrow would be a day of adventure and he couldn’t wait!
The next afternoon they took a boat out to go fishing. Derek was the captain. He liked controlling the boat and being in charge of their destination. Izzy secretly stashed a squirt gun in her pack, thinking it would be fun to take a break from fishing and have a water fight later. Sofia brought the snack pack and extra worms. Carl was the last one in the boat. That morning he had gotten up early to make a check-list of what they would need, and he was repacking his bag one more time to make sure they had everything.
As they floated down the river, Derek steered the boat. Izzy kept accidentally breaking into song, even though everyone shushed her as she’d scare away the fish. Sofia made sure nothing fell out of the boat and everyone had sunscreen, while Carl studied the map.
All of a sudden, out of nowhere it seemed, they hit some pretty big rapids. Izzy had been hanging over the side reaching for a passing twig, so she flipped right out of the boat! Carl’s bag fell in, and Sofia tried to grab it but missed. Derek immediately started yelling, frustrated at himself as he felt he should have seen the rapids coming.
They quickly got Izzy back in the boat and headed back to camp. That night, after they dried off and ate, they again sat around the campfire. As the night got darker and the stars came out each person again fell into silence, this time thinking about the highlight of the day’s adventure. Derek thought about how proud he felt, steering the boat, and how next time he would keep everyone safer. Izzy remembered what a blast it had been, to float freely through the fast water. She decided she would definitely figure out how to fall out again next year! Sofia remembered helping Izzy back into the boat, and how thankful she felt when she was able to help her friend make it back on the boat, safe and sound. Carl was already thinking about the next day, and the lists he could make to ensure they packed everything up and didn’t forget anything on their way out.
*Story adopted from Four Friends Find Fun by V.L. Doyle and Dr. Robert a Rohm and the DISC system.
So what did you think about that story? And now think about yourself, and how you’d write yourself into it. Was there a character or two who you related to, or would you be a totally new person joining the adventure?
I relate to Izzy! Every moment I think I would like to be on an adventure or planning the next adventure. But boy do I need the Derek and the Carl and the Sofia to make the adventures a success.
The reason I love this story is that though they all were at the same place doing the same thing, each one experienced a completely different adventure. Wow! God made each of us so creatively. None of us are the same, nor do any of us experience things in the same way.
It makes me think about how amazing Jesus is. He knows how we are wired, how we see the world, what we need, and what our hearts’ desires are. We can trust Him! And He invites us to choose the best adventure: He walks up, holds out His hand, looks in your eyes, and says, “Come follow Me.” We just get to choose to say, “yes,” and start the best adventure there is, custom made for each of us. And He comes along on the adventure with you! He never leaves you. And He promises that though you may end up leaving some things behind and changing some things, and though it is a risk and may not make sense to the world, that it’s so worth it. The adventure with Him has more in store for you than you can ask or imagine! (You may be wondering what this adventure looks like? Just read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to see some of the customized adventures He led people into!)
So I pray today that we say, “YES,” and choose the adventure to follow Jesus. And that each day, each moment, our hearts are open to choose YES as we adventure with Jesus and each other!
About the Author
Pam is a fun and encouraging team-builder that brings the best to those around her. She loves people and is committed to serving and mentoring kids, women and families with opportunities to grow closer to God and each other.
Pam is currently serving as Children and Family Pastor at Valley Christian Center in Albany. Pam and her husband, Jared, have been married since 2005 and have three boys. Their family will always be a much loved part of our CitySalt family.