What's Your Wish?

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If you stumbled upon the proverbial genie in a bottle and were given one wish, what would it be? Fame? Riches?

For many teenagers (perhaps most women) that wish might be “Make me beautiful”. It is a deeply seeded desire that is understandable (and sometimes out of reach).

Oh to be one of the beautiful girls… their lives appear charmed as every circumstance turns out better than for the average person. They have more friends, are invited to more parties, get more opportunities, and are obviously happier than regular people. If we are honest with ourselves, we all wish to be one of those beautiful people.

As we grow older this obsession with beauty gradually fades. Perhaps it is the wisdom of age (we just feel differently about beauty), perhaps it is the effect of experience (we see that beauty has nothing to do with a quality person)… whatever it is, what a blessing to get past this “wrong” way of thinking. God does not think that much about physical beauty (at least that is what the Bible says). It means nothing to Him. Why do we care so much?

God certainly loves beauty (any sunset at the beach makes this point clearly)… We all know the verse: “The heavens declare the glory of God.” but does He care about the way we look? The clothes we wear? The shape of our body or the color of our hair? Details about the way we look are simply not important to God.

When Jesus took on flesh he chose a body that was not handsome. Isaiah 53 says He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. The Gospel’s sole subject is Jesus, but none of those four books ever mention his looks (beautiful or ugly). A person who met Jesus would not remark on His appearance because there would be so many other (more important) things to say about Him. That should say something… but it is very hard to get past our prejudices on the subject. We have a deeply seeded desire for unattainable beauty. When we stand before the mirror in the morning, our eyes immediately make note of the various deficiencies.

Girls struggle with this, and it breaks my heart. At camp I see them playing without a care, walking hand in hand, laughing in groups big and small, without regard to the size of their clothing or the color of their hair. Self-consciousness evaporates like the morning dew in the love that shines so brightly at camp. One minute that awkwardness is there but the next minute it is gone. At such moments the girls look as they ought, how they were created, and their beauty shines brightly. They see this deeper beauty in each other and delight without a bit of envy. Each one is beautiful… and they know it. For an instant, they are confident in their beautiful selves.

Breakfast Club today focused on this concept of physical beauty. I think that this particular talk is one that is good; it resonates with me personally and with many of the girls. I have three daughters, each one beautiful beyond words… I know it is hard for them to maintain a healthy self-image, to not accept the negative perspective of the world. I sense the struggle and have no words to fix things. At moments like that, I hope they remember camp and the lessons learned at camp. Not lessons heard in a talk, but lessons experienced through genuine connections with good people in a good place that honors God.

A man has limited credibility in addressing some subjects, including this one. I recognize the limits of my perspective and hope that the subject rings true and that the campers and counselors will consider it after they go home…. at this point in the summer, the girls appreciate the sincerity of my words.

A quick word about last night’s Birthday Ball… it was REALLY FUN! The birthday girls got dressed up, were given cute “crowns” to set them apart, had their photo taken as the rest of camp filed into the dining hall, then made a grand entrance to the song “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang. Each girl filing in one by one, dancing as the music blared and the entire camp cheered. It took the entire song for every girl to enter! FUN!

The birthday girls were the guests of honor at the Camper Talent Show and their front row seats were much to be desired as the acts were particularly great this year. Some amazing singing, guitar duets, dancing, toe painting, Dad jokes, silly acts, and even an acapella group. Quality program in every sense of the word.

The Details

  • Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs and Sausage
  • Lunch: Parmesan Chicken Salad
  • Dinner: Grilled Chicken Red Rice Bowl (Lots of toppings)
  • EP: Battle of the Bands (a huge competition EP with fantastic prizes for the winning team)

The Battle of the Bands EP deserves a bit of explanation. The guidelines were presented to the campers a week ago: divide the camp in four groups (Pop, Rock, Country, Disco) who will compete in 23 challenges for points. Every camper will try to win as many points as possible before we gather for the biggest challenge… the Dance Battle. Each of the groups have about 20 campers and counselors who were chosen to choreograph and perform a dance in their genre. No restrictions were given to restrain their imaginations on the “perfect” dance and they have been working hard to achieve that goal. The winning dance will earn 50 points for their team, very likely to push them into the winners circle where all the team will get a glorious assortment of camp swag. It will be a lot of fun!

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