I often will return to the moments of significance in my own life and realize it meant more than a mere moment of comedy. I’ll explain, I take us back to the time I spent in Canada. My days consisted of working in the kitchen for about nine hours and doing behind the scenes stuff for the campers at night. Basically I was pretty nameless and faceless learning to serve others while running after the Lord with all of my being. While residing in Canada I was taken from my ordinary life due to no cell reception or wifi. It was brilliant. My soul needed to be reunited with its maker in a forest in Canada with no contact with the outside world. One day I woke up, congregated with Kathleen who also never attended breakfast thanks to our afternoon shift in the kitchen. We read Jesus calling, talked, drank coffee and walked into the kitchen not a minute too early or too late. The day seemed ordinary, until the moment Scott the work crew kid walked in and changed my camp fame for life. Before I inform you of his destiny changing words I must inform you of a camp tradition that had taken place for some time now. Esteban was a squirrel. Esteban loved stealing food from the back room in the kitchen. The kitchen staff had one single objective for the summer: to capture Esteban. Few people had had face to face encounters with him, but they believed a full surrender of the squirrel’s motives were nearing.
Who would have guessed that the casual kid from eastern Washington, who barely did Younglife and is still uncertain of how she landed this job would accidentally be the one to step into this long devised plan and fulfill it.
Back to that causal day two, when you work at camp days are ran by numbers not days of the week, Scott walks in the back door before entering the main part of the kitchen there is a small room that contains a washer, dryer and a few other housekeeping items, it is separated from the main kitchen by a small wall. As he walks past the small room into the main kitchen I am the first person he runs into. A bit stunned he points into our laundry room saying a squirrel just ran in. In the midst of cutting lettuce I stop what I am doing and casually respond, “Oh, its just Esteban.” Without thinking I proceed to go back to the small room on the other side of the small wall divider. Immediately I spot him. Esteban there on the garbage can. Approaching with little caution I was expecting to just scare him out of the kitchen, but the next series of events are somewhat a blur, but to my closest recollection I will tell them as best as I can. I near the garbage can that resides in the back corner, Esteban is sitting on the lid I reach out to swat him, but instead manage to capture him with my hand! Shocked I look down at a rabid squirrel that is equally as shocked to be in my hand. Squirming like a madman, he finally positions himself and takes a nice chomp on my hand. As the pain and realization that Esteban just bit me moves from my finger to my mind I involuntarily react by throwing him at the wall that is shared with the main kitchen. Caught up in my own world of confusion I barely hear the screams from the other side of the kitchen reacting to the squirrel that was just flung through the air and hit the wall.
In a swirl I enter into the kitchen to see Carly my intern screaming and freaking out. As I attempt to wash my bloody hand she rushes me to the Nurse, who said that she has never seen a scenario like this before. I then had to call my mother on an emergency phone to ask if I had had my tetanus shot. I had. I was not going to turn into a rabid squirrel.
Long story short I was famous around camp within minutes. I went from a nameless faceless kitchen slave to that kid that got bit by a squirrel. From this scenario even in all its obscurity I learned to not seek fame for one’s self, but if you are to become famous a squirrel will probably come into where you are and find you. Or God. As I live obediently and pursue Him daily I can trust that the big things will come into play if I am walking out what He is saying to me. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interest of others,” Philippians 2:3-4. To be serving others is the best place to be. I don’t think we need to be afraid to ask God for the big things, but don’t be discouraged if all you can see is dishes in the backroom. God knows you. Love Him, love others. Trust Him with everything and serve others when your squirrel of fame arrives you’ll know, be patient and obedient every step of the way.
The best part of all of this was when I returned home and told my father about the whole ordeal, his response, “That happened to me once!”
I am my Father’s daughter.