5.18.19 – The F.I.N.I.S.H
FINISH OF THE SPECIAL DAY 2 /// Just when they thought the hard part was over… Competition had ended. Then, after reading the story of Jesus going to the cross, campers were sent on a contemplative 1.5 mile run through the resort and the sand dunes. They carried a 2×4 over their shoulders the whole way in representation of what was read. They were given the time to process what God had for them during this experience: an epiphany, realization, moments of growth, honest prayer and even open praise to the Lord. Most ran the whole way in solitude. Some ran with teammates. But all of them crested a hill and saw the ocean over the dunes at the end. Whether their legs probably wanted to or not, they ran toward the ocean, and their teammates, and the finish line. They were done, a 16 hour sports marathon with barely a nap for sleep, and they didn’t realize how they could have gotten through it without God.
Some final thoughts about the experience:
“[In the competition] I could feel my soul working, not my muscles working”
“I kept thinking I was done, but then had the OPPORTUNITY to keep pushing”
“The reality of Jesus suffering because of his love for us began to really hit me. It made the run a celebration instead.”
“I was pretty high energy through most of it. Then we read the passage about Jesus at the end. It made me thankful. I realized it took the power of the Holy Spirit to get this far. I was walking & praying during my “Golgotha run.” I asked God: Do you want me to run this? He said: Yes. I was like: Okay. And so I ran the whole rest of the way, truly dependent on Him.”
“Understanding “my way” is not always His way. When the athletic trainers told me to do something I didn’t want to, but needed to, it was a picture of how the Lord does that with me. He ends up being right in the end. Every action has a role to play. Trying to do it on my own is not an option.
[God showed me] “It was okay to be vulnerable. Honestly, it was afterward because I was so exhausted. When we were all done, later on during the worship time, I had like, this emotional release.”
[When debriefing the SPECIAL later] “I heard that the expectation [of the SPECIAL or any competition] is always perfection. That’s what God’s expectation should be. And I’m not gonna always be perfect. [If I live that way] I’m just trying to meet expectations I’m not going to meet. [God showed me] it is freeing to know we don’t have to meet those expectations.”
After much encouragement, celebration, prayer and some tears, everyone was free to head off for lunch and a long afternoon of rest (and sleep). This experience made them exercise all 5 principles at one time: Audience of One, Inside Game, Holy Sweat/Wholly Surrender, Hurtin’ for Certain, Victory Beyond Competition. We couldn’t have put on this experience without the thoughtful planning of the staff, the hardworking interns that ran the obstacles and refereed the events, or everyone that helped guide, pray for and encourage the campers.