Camp quickly became my life this past week. Working as a day-time counselor, I am either at high energy (when I am with the kids) or at ultra-low energy (when I am back at my dorm room in the evening). Either way, I am not writing or reading.
However, I am living, and since living vibrantly as the person God created me to be is my goal, I am not minding so much. Living and writing helps me understand LIFE. Working at camp helps me be part of LIFE.
I like to learn about people, I like to understand them, and I like to be a part of telling stories, reading stories, or creating stories–just so someone can be entertained for one evening, or perhaps not feel so alone, or possibly learn something about LIFE.
The first week in July I skpyed my two younger brothers. They were bouncing off the walls, showing off their muscles and their entertainment abilities (they are not too much the sit-and-talk type), so I asked them if I could read them a story. “You are Special” by Max Lucado aired over my laptop screen, and the boys, age ten and eight, sat and listened to me read. And yes, we are over 1000 miles apart. Stories can bring brothers and sisters together.
Two close friends graduated this May. This summer we’ve stayed in touch through reading Anna Karenina together, a book by Lev Tolstoy. We email one another about the book, and though the emails are sporadic, they also drip with details from our daily lives. Stories keep relationships together.
I don’t always know why I am an English major or why I want to teach kids some day, and I don’t always remember why I am reading through these twenty-five books. Then I go to camp, and I work hard with kids, laughing with them, riding amusement park rides with them, and singing myself hoarse in the van with them, and I know why I am doing this.
Some kids don’t have the chance of education. Not all know how to read. Not all enjoy reading. I wonder how many kids have actually been read a story.
I read to learn so I can teach. Then someday I can teach someone else how to read, how to write, and maybe they can begin enjoying living life too.
I love Psalm 16:11. It’s a cry of truth to our Creator, God of the Universe: “You make known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
Maybe God can use me someday to show others the paths of life.
What tangible ways have stories or books influenced your life?