One of the greatest problems we face each summer with campers and staff is homesickness. You might not consider this to be a big concern, but homesickness is contagious and can ruin the summer! If a little girl is homesick and does not recover soon, her cabin-mates soon begin to get homesick as well. And the worst thing that can occur is when the counselor is homesick. If he is overcome with this malaise the whole cabin could be lost.
The best way to combat homesickness is to keep the camper or staff so busy and pre-occuppied that that they have no time to think about their pets, family and friends back home. Busy campers are much happier and less homesick that bored campers! So we do all we can to keep them busy and focused upon anything but home! Competition, the upcoming dance, the trip to Carowinds, etc.—-but not home!
One fact I face almost every day is that I too am homesick. Not homesick for returning to my childhood home in Lake Mary, Florida. That house is long gone and the memories are fading. No, I am homesick for my real home—-the home that He has gone to prepare for me. Dietrich Bonhoeffer famously said that, “No one has yet believed in God and the Kingdom of God; no one has heard about the realm of the resurrected and not been homesick from that hour, waiting and looking forward to being released from bodily existence….”
The knowledge of my “homesickness” for God and His Kingdom is present with me all day. I realize that things on this earth are not the way they should be! I don’t behave the way I want to and those I love don’t do as they should—-I am keenly aware of this. Pain, suffering, injustice, arrogance, greed, selfishness, death, deterioration and decay: I know that all these things are not what God originally intended—-they are not, and will not be a part of my real and eternal home!
The closer I draw to Him and the longer I think about Him and His Kingdom the more I feel I have nothing in common with the manner and operations of this present home we call the world. Yes, I am homesick for my future home and the more I ponder about it, the more I “remember” how things will be and the more I pine for His touch and presence…and the less I feel that I “fit in” here.
Pray that I might lead others, this summer, to not fit in here. Pray that campers and staff this year might be homesick for the home that He has gone to prepare for them.