Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Camps Ended. Reflections and all.

So FOC has finally drawn to a close. Realised I quite missed this camp after the fatigue wore off. I'm quite glad that I got a chance to support Joel as Programs IC in this camp. Grateful for a chance to serve God. One of the best things I got out of this camp was closer bonding with Jia Hao and Joel, my DG mates. Sadly, I guess that that was the only proper bonding I had for the entire camp. Was running around to make sure everything was going smoothly. I think the next best catch-ups with people were like 20 minute or so of talking with Sarah Tan and also Mike and Chloe. But that wasn't much. Didn't talk too much with the freshmen. Didn't talk too much with the seniors.

What have I gained from this camp? Of the blog-able stuff, it was a closer walk with God and also more reliance on Him. It was a camp that ran on constant prayer. In every camp there are undercurrents. Emotional, spiritual, physical. Undercurrents that threaten to destroy the joy and atmosphere of the camp. I encountered quite a bit of those in this camp. Of course, they weren't visible to everyone. But as always, yielding to God's Presence and asking for His providence brought us through.

Yet another issue I've been contemplating is the issue of loneliness. It's not the first time that I find myself in such a position. Leadership is lonely, some people say. That's why moments of loneliness are supposed to be good training for leadership.

Do I remember other moments that God brought me through loneliness? Yeah. Here's one.

There were many times that close friends were far-off. Times that I lost friends in school, unit and even church to disagreements and all. Showed me who my true friends were some days. Other days I wondered whether it was because I wasn't true enough a friend.

Was just sharing with my camp group during one of the short moments I had with them, that I was feeling quite discouraged, un-encouraged and all in ministry.

What happens when the encourager becomes discouraged? What happens when I would like more support from friends and all? What happens when close, trusted friends are generally not there anymore?

Perhaps one way is to hang out more with people. And yet another is to ask God to teach me what He intends to in this season. I don't want to have a martyr-complex in all this.

One thing I've realised after doing so many different camps is that the stronger a Christian you're perceived to be, the more lonely you can become. Yes, you have people around you and all. But it is largely assumed that you don't have personal needs. Perhaps it's not assumed that you don't. But rather, it is assumed that they can't help you with those needs. Really makes me glad to have some friends to talk to some times. Yet most of the time these days, it doesn't seem that way.

In all this, I think that I need to understand what God is teaching me. Right now I'm guessing that it's a mix of relying more on Him, and also at the same time making more friends. But of course, friendship in itself is not always easy. Friendship opens up vulnerabilities. True friendship includes openness. It is when someone feels known by the other, and knows the other intimitately that the warmth of friendship can brighten a day. The feeling of knowing and being known. And I admit that it's not always been easy for me. The part about being known, especially.

But my comfort is in the fact that as long as I trust God and pray through this time, I will come out stronger and more refined. And I know this well help me to help others later on.

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