Two Minute Shower

My daughter Caitlin, Chris (her husband) and I were recently headed up to the WW II museum in Wolfeboro, NH. Quite unexpectedly we found our self about 5 minutes away from Camp Maranatha. We decided right then-and-there to go and hopefully see the camp directors Chris and Brenda. It was a long shot, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity. For me, it had been at least 12 years since my last contact with Chris and Brenda. It had been even longer for Caitlin. Chris and Brenda are (to this day) two of the most consistent and godly people I’ve had the pleasure to meet. As it turned out, we got to see them both! I cannot tell you the unbelievable joy it was to my heart to see them and know that they are still in love with the Saviour. They are, like myself, getting on into the other side of this life’s journey. Chris is entering into his 70’s. But the spring in his step, the joy in his countenance, and the smile on his face where just as great as ever. And Brenda, the same sweet spirit and warmth of hospitality still radiates from her. When you haven’t had contact with someone for many years, it’s so refreshing to find out that they are still going strong for the Lord.

One of the great blessings of pastoring my church was coming in contact with Camp Maranatha. The first event I went to at the camp was the Men’s Conference. Since I had never been there before, I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know it was such a wonderfully rustic and relaxed setting. Of course, I went too well dressed. That meeting, involving so many godly men, was a turning point in my life. That started the beginning of many blessed years of fellowship yet ahead.

I think of the camp very often. Most of the time I remember the camp when I take a shower. The camp had: The Two Minute Shower rule. Somehow you had to get in, shower, and get out all in two minutes. Of course, if you weren’t one of the first in line you ended up with a very cold two minute (or less) shower. Perhaps, that was on purpose :-)

An important aspect of the camp was the concept that serving the Lord had no special privileges. All were expected to do anything and everything that was needed at the camp. This was a great learning experience for me. I must admit that I thought I should have some special relief from certain aspects of the work there. After all I was the “Pastor” and WE were financially supporting THEM. That should count for something, right? But, somehow, I always seemed to end up with (what I considered) the least desirable tasks. It never failed.

As examples. When starting on the work for the big lodge at the top of the hill, a group of us went from the church for a work day. To me, it seemed like all the men got fun jobs like building and cutting things. (Truth is, I’m not that good at building and cutting things.) What task did I get stuck with — putting tar on the foundation by brush! And, if I remember correctly, I was the only one doing it the whole time. Whenever we would go for a work day, it always seemed that if there was a trench to be dug, something to be raked, or some dirty job to get done — I got it.

But you know what, I needed the humbling. And if Chris didn’t have me do those tasks on purpose {I’m sure he did ;-) }, then God for sure did. I cannot tell you how much, in hindsight, I am glad for those experiences. God truly does know what we need and when we need it.

I guess what I appreciate even more is the lasting impact Chris and Brenda have had not only on Judy and me, but on all our kids. The time we spent there at the camp sort of walks along with us in our lives. It’s fair to say that, at least in part, the camp helped shape our family into what it is today. Camp Maranatha holds very fond memories for all of us.

So why am I sharing all of this?

I guess, perhaps, because this morning while taking my shower, I thought about Camp Maranatha— once again. And after having recently seen Chris and Brenda, I felt the strong need and desire to honor them with a few words of gratitude and appreciation.

I want to let them, and others, know how much they have meant to my wife, all my kids, and me. Chris, Brenda, and Camp Maranatha are a model for us all. Chris and Brenda are one of the best examples I know concerning what it looks like to love, serve, and stay faithful to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ/Yeshua Messiah.

They are a rare blessing that I have been privileged to know.

Thank you Chris and Brenda.