After two days of sniffling and coughing and chugging various zicam and emergen-C products, I got in my car and drove two hours to be a counselor for junior high girls at winter camp last weekend. I was sure, just sure it would be my B game I was bringing... especially after the emergency level phone calls were still ringing at 7 pm on Friday night. It was one of those "you can't win 'em all" moments when you think you're beat before you've started.
Winter camp started on Saturday, so Friday found me pulling in to my parents' long driveway, opening the front door, and throwing my "Hello?" into the living room. I collapsed a little bit into the comfort - the way this home knows me.
My parents were sitting in the living room decompressing their own crazy weeks and I joined them like it was a regular thing for me to be there on a Friday. It always feels kind of like a time warp when I'm in that place - the same two people with the same caring faces in the same living room always brings me back. That night I played hymns on my mom's piano, sang with my sisters, and didn't check my work email.
I slept well even in the chilled upstairs and woke up to help my mom transform our valentine's tradition into a breakfast spectacular. I packed quickly, drank strong coffee and headed in the direction of winter camp, refreshed but still expecting B game.
And then 36 junior high and senior high students happened... at a camp... in the country... where Christ is the main event... and B game is not an option.
It wasn't even like I decided anything. I was just making decisions to believe God's grace would be enough for the next moment - and not just enough, but abundant to the point that I was capable of every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8).
As I was making those grace-depending decisions, I stepped further into God's glorious plan for the weekend: wide eyes, praise, wonder.
I listened to my campers work through what it means to be a fan vs. what it means to be a follower of Jesus. We didn't mess around during our breakout sessions. I mean, we made bargains (like when they said, "we'll pay attention if you sing us a song." Of course, I did), but we got serious about opening the Word and chewing on what we found.
I'm not boasting in bringing A game - not at all. It was like A game was brought to me... if that makes sense. Two days full to the brim with talking about the glory of God, listening to the glory of God, and reading the glory of God in the words of Scripture will make A game happen.
You will love when you have nothing left. You will keep your eyes open when your body wants to sleep. You will create a rap with a ninth grade boy about salvation. You will make up a song and dance with 6 squealing young ladies about the way Jesus made you beautiful. You will run in unseasonal February sunshine. You will glow.
Have you ever experienced this - when you thought you had little to offer but God's grace proved otherwise?
God's grace is amazing - so amazing that it can take a body that is not good for anything and make it fit his purposes so that He would be glorified and salvation would be proclaimed.
The Word transforms every kind of body into something useful for the Kingdom. And the process of transformation wakes up the soul to shout praise.
Maybe you are bent or broken or bruised on this Monday and you think you've only got B game to offer. Let me tell you, an awakened soul is full of delight and surprises.
"Whoever serves, let him do so as by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 4:11