Lessons from a Wristband

My legs are bruised, my nails are dirty, my knees are scraped, and my body is exhausted but I had one of the best weeks of my life this week. Before this year, I thought that I would never have the chance to go back and experience camp. Fortunately, God had other plans. Coming back to a Young Life camp as a leader was a completely new experience and although I can’t say every moment of it was grand and perfect, I learned a whole lot about what it means to be a true servant. I’m also proud to say I learned how to care for my own sun poisoning..

As soon as I arrived at Rockbridge, I was given an orange wristband and was asked to wear it in order for campers to know that I was a leader. This immediately felt weird to me. I still felt like a camper and I wasn’t sure what it really meant to be a leader. I wanted to do what I wanted to do and I wanted to do it when I wanted to do it. If I had my way, I would have slept until ten, gotten some breakfast, played some volleyball, hopped on the zip line and then taken a nap. However, the past week was not a vacation and it certainly wasn’t mine. Throughout the week, the simple orange wristband challenged me to value others the way God does and let me just give Him some props because it is not always easy. Don’t get me wrong, I love helping others and I was really excited about going to camp as a leader, but this past week was extremely difficult. I expected the difficulty, but it’s always easier said than done. Sometimes I’m too focused on myself that I disregard the needs of others. That’s human nature isn’t it? The orange piece of paper around my arm was a consistent reminder to let my own desires go and constantly cater to the condition of others.

When we arrived home, I was reluctant to take this wristband off (partly because it gave me an awesome tan line). But if I’m honest, I wanted to be sure I took the nature of the leader that took a little more than a second to grasp at camp back home with me. I was afraid of losing what had taken a week full of sleepless nights to learn. I finally cut the superstitious bracelet and decided to rely on God to remind me of what I had learned instead of a silly piece of paper that was starting to fade due to the constant contact with Rockbridge lake water. After all, my tan line is pretty sweet.

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