It’s a relief to be back home. Back to familiarity. Back to routine. Back to your own bed, your own shower, your own room. Back to everything that is comfortable.
But there’s always a pang in coming home from camp. You feel like something valuable is left behind. And the longer you’re home, the less weight your camp decisions seem to have. It becomes easier and easier to slip back into your regular old life. Not that it was a bad life. But you have a little voice in the back of your head whispering that things were supposed to change. You were going to be different. Why are those camp commitments often so hard to hang on to?
Could it possibly be the discomfort that frees you while you’re at camp? Your routine is thrown off, your cell phone is gone, you’re sharing a room with a bunch of people. Nothing is as comfortable as home. And so perhaps you’re more aware–more open to what God is doing in your life, because you’re paying more attention. You’re not just running on autopilot.
Comfort is a tough thing. We all want to be comfortable. We want to feel secure, have a sense of routine, have a feeling of belonging. And none of these are bad things. But sometimes our comfortable life numbs us to our need for change. It’s easy to think everything is fine because everything is going on like it always does. It’s also easy to put off change because we aren’t quite ready to disrupt things. Change threatens our comfort because it inevitably pulls us into the uncomfortable zone.
Even though none of us likes discomfort, it is the state God most often uses to work in us. When we are uncomfortable, we most clearly see our need for Him. When we are uncomfortable, we most clearly see our weaknesses and our inabilities. And when we are uncomfortable, we most clearly see His hand and His involvement in our lives.
That’s often what happens at camp. You’re less comfortable than usual, and more open to God’s pulling on your heart. You realize He’s trying to get your attention and you respond because there’s no other place you have to be. You can stop and focus on Him because your normal, comfortable life is back at home, and you are free from it for a few days.
So does that mean you can only hear from God at camp? Of course not. He is always trying to get your attention. He is always wanting to work in you. But when you’re at home, you may be too wrapped up in the familiar to break away and listen. That’s what needs to change when you come home. You need to make it a priority to get “uncomfortable” somehow. That may mean changing up your routine to include daily time with God. That may mean finding a place to serve where you’ve never served before. It may mean speaking up more boldly about what you believe. Whatever it is, you will have to deliberately step outside your comfort zone and do it. That’s where real change happens.