“The earth was a formless void, and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.” Gen. 1:2
Not until running a camp does one fully appreciate how much a camp director’s job is risk management. There are physical risks to adventure activities and emotional risks to the interaction between counselors and campers. Even weather provides a constant challenge. Humid conditions can lead to heat stroke. Summer storms can turn violent and appear out of nowhere.
Because of this, weather radios are a staple of most summer camps. Radios whose sole purpose is to inform listeners of threatening weather conditions. It sounds like such a fantastic tool, but our weather radio drove me nuts. It would announce tornado warnings for locations hundreds of miles away. Every minor change in weather produced some new sound. Eventually, staff just started ignoring it. Not only that, but it provided camper parents a false sense of perspective. Parents who listened to their own weather radio felt equipped to make decisions about activities on site.
The benefits of modern technology are incredible. However, there are some drawbacks to our advances. One of them is how it disconnects us from the natural world. Summer camp communities who spend every day outside, renew this connection. Over the course of a summer, they can read the signs of weather and make adjustments accordingly. They can see what weather reports miss.
This same disconnect often leads us to miss the beauty of the creation story. These words are ancient. They come from people who lived on and at the mercy of, the land and weather. They were spoken long before words were written down. How they came to us is just as impressive as the meaning.
The ancients used images to express their deepest understanding of life. Long before we discovered a giant explosion of particles, the ancients talked of a formless void being interrupted by the voice of God. Genesis is not about proving or disproving scientific research. Perhaps, though, ancient people knew more than we give them credit for knowing. They could see a life entirely invisible to our modern eyes.
Within these ancient words, the spirit of God still hovers and creates life. These words renew life within the chaotic soul of creation and its creatures. They help the troubled heart discover peace. Truthfully, I cannot see the wind or the spirit of God sweeping over anything. However, every morning I reflect on God’s word, I feel the spirit of God breathing life into my being. It helps me find peace in a chaotic world. It is an experience I share with you in hopes you might discover the same peace.
- Where do you feel disconnected from what is real?
- How can ones attempt to determine fact from fiction create chaos in life?
- When have you experienced a transformation others do not understand?
- Where do you feel the spirit of God at work in you?