I finished this story this morning for my Experiential Learning class. The story revolves around something that I experienced this summer and what Jesus tried to show me about praying about everything. :) Hope it makes you grin! :)
Boats, Gravel, Rope, Prayer
My energy level was dropping quickly like the red of a thermometer on a winter evening. Falling. Dropping. Lacking. I had scratches on my arms. My mouth was getting dry. I was muddy. I was worn out and worn down physically, but I was also reaching the brink of an emotional meltdown. It was the most I could do to put one foot in front of the other, to push the boat filled with gravel as I sucked in oxygen. Breath by breath. We had to keep going. There was no other option. I didn’t know how much longer I could keep . . . moving . . .
You see, it was training week at Camp Tadmor, and it’s an annual occurrence of this
Christian summer camp to have a “Team Challenge,” an activity meant to tie staff together before the kids come. Nobody knew what we were getting into when we began this “adventure”.
This year’s team challenge involved hiking up a muddy hill until we got to this log cabin by which were two massive piles of gravel. The goal of the challenge was to pack those piles of gravel back down the hill and spread them around part of the camp’s lake. There were a few handicaps given us, however. We could only use what we found near the cabin to haul the gravel, which happened to be very old boats, a couple of shovels, buckets, and a piece of netting.
Another handicap was that we were given a massive rope which we stretched out, and the whole summer staff had to remain within the confines of this rope. No one could get ahead of the group and go in front of the rope’s beginning, nor could anyone lag behind the end of the rope. We had to stick together.
Also, a piece of incentive: we didn’t get dinner until this challenge was done.
Well, we all started strong, walking together, taking note of the thick mud, the length of the trail, the steepness in parts. Finally, we made it. We were astounded by the piles of gravel but probably even more astounded when we felt just how heavy one bucket of this stuff was. Gravel is EXTREMLY WEIGHTY! The sixty some of us brainstormed, trying to figure out the best way to get this pile of rock down the hill. We postulated and pondered for over an hour. Some of us were antsy, just wanting to get something done. Others wanted to make sure that we did it the most efficient way first, even if it took longer to figure out what that was. There was chaos.
Finally, one of the girls made a stand. “Guys, I think we need to pray.”
To be honest, I was kind of taken off guard. Pray? About something as silly as taking
gravel down a hill? At first, this seemed a little “over spiritual” to me, but as I thought about it, it made sense. We should be praying about everything. Nothing is too insignificant for prayer.
After we prayed, we took our first load down the hill. The task was brutal. We were so tired, so worn by our first load, and we had a lot more to go. The time was ticking away. Soon it was 5pm. 6pm. 7pm. 8pm. We still weren’t done. We were lagging, defeated, exhausted, and as we lay on the ground at the bottom of the hill after one of our loads, just resting, I needed to do something. “Guys? I think we need to pray one more time.” I thanked Jesus. He had answered our first prayer for strength in every other trip we’d made, now would You please give us the strength to finish the rest? And miracle of miracles, as we reached the top of the hill, we noticed that most of the remaining gravel had been removed. We just had one load left. What an unexplainable relief! On the trip down, we were allowed to use a short cut, the main road. We all survived with the realization that we had accomplished the task. Only with Jesus.
I began to learn a valuable lesson that day. We need Jesus for everything, even in
the “natural” parts of life, in the strictly physical realm. That’s why we need to be praying about everything. There is nothing too insignificant for which to knock on the throne room doors. God listens. Even to prayers about using old boats to carry gravel down a nice, muddy hill on a summer evening. Jesus knows, and He cares.
Prayer 13: Evangelism.
Oh Jesus? Please give me a passion for the lost. Give me the courage to walk into their lives . . . with You. Thank You. In Your name. Amen.