I spent last week teaching Bible to an outstanding group of Senior High students in the beautiful mountains of New Mexico at Camp Blue Haven. This was my 17th year to be a Bible teacher at CBH, and it’s always a thrill and an honor to be invited back. It’s also a great time of much-needed spiritual renewal for me. So much so that one day I decided to brainstorm some ideas for how to make everyday like church camp. Here’s what I came up with:
Spend time in worship everyday.
Psalm 95:6-7 says, “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.” Worship reminds of who God is and who we are in relation to God. It keeps us humble before God and connected to God. It also reinforces the fact that we are, indeed, “under his care.”
Daily worship can come in many forms, and, today, there are many tools that make it even easier to incorporate worship into our daily schedules. If we take the initiative to worship God on a daily basis, our hearts will be consistently filled with the kind of joy, peace, and hope that can only come from God.
At camp, I find myself praying on my own, with others, as I walk, as I sit, and as I work. And I can’t help but think what life would be like in the “real world” if I did that at home. Prayer is the foundation of a healthy relationship with God, so the more I can assimilate prayer into the routines of my life the stronger my relationship with God will be.
At camp, there is a scheduled rest time for everyone each day. And we need it.
For some reason, rest is considered as a sign of weakness in our society. But that attitude toward rest flies in the face of the research on rest. For example, researchers from the University of Washington provided this summary of their findings: “Rest is an important part of a healthy lifestyle for all ages. It rejuvenates your body and mind, regulates your mood, and is linked to learning and memory function. On the other hand, not getting enough rest can negatively affect your mood, immune system, memory, and stress level.”
Proper rest leads to greater health, better productivity, and improved quality of life.
Chores are part of daily life at church camp to teach students the value of work and to keep the camp in good repair. Taking care of your property and possessions and doing work that contributes to the greater good of a community adds a sense of value to a person’s self-esteem.
While work adds value to a person’s life, so does play. Camp life is a good balance between work and play, and “real” life should be too.
Read a book.
I always take a new book with me to camp. Reading not only increases knowledge, it also inspires creativity. Take some time to read everyday and you will find that you are more creative, motivated, and inspired than you thought you could be.
Watch less TV.
At Camp Blue Haven, there is no access to TV and no cell phone coverage – and I love it! Watching television is not bad, in and of itself, but we watch way too much of it. Just think what you could accomplish if you cut your TV time significantly and used that time to read, start a new hobby, learn to play guitar, connect deeper with friends and family, and get out to experience things rather than just watching others experiencing things.
Connect with friends and family.
One of my favorite things to do at camp is to sit on the porch of my cabin and talk to my friends. We talk about deep things but we also laugh really hard and really long. That kind of connection is like a tonic for the soul that makes me realize just how much I need to make more time for my family and friends.
Go for a walk.
One way to connect with my family is to go for a walk together. At camp, I am outdoors and walking everywhere – both are important to a healthy body and mind. Make it a point to exercise regularly and to get outside, even if it’s just for a walk around the block or down the road.
Make someone’s day.
I have always loved going to church camp, and I’ve been doing it since I was three years old. At this stage of my life, one of the things I love about it most is the opportunity to influence younger generations for Christ. At camp, I am always mindful of this opportunity and actively look for ways to take advantage of it. I need to be more like that at home. Everyday, you and I have an opportunity to make someone’s day with a simple act of kindness or a simple word of encouragement. Too often, we miss it because we’re not looking for it.
Now, I am fully aware that it may not be possible to do all 10 of these things every single day. But it’s more do-able than we think. My point in this post is really intentionality. If we will get more intentional about what we want in life and what we want our lives to look like, we will see that we can keep our lives centered on God and we can stay filled-up with the Spirit of God.
These 10 ideas are simple ways to do that.