Saturday, August 27, 2016

Be Ready!

The fifteen of us were in Poland surrounded by wooden structures of various shapes and sizes. We had traveled 12 hours from Croatia to live in tents for a week. In my calculation we formed the smallest campsite of all the villages that totaled 7,200 campers. We were at Royal Ranger (RR) Eurocamp 2016.

This was the second RR camp I had attended in two years, but by far the biggest camp I had ever been to. The hosts had prepared for nearly four years and it showed. The infrastructure and organization could not have been better. In attending the leaders meetings every morning at camp I saw that there were some minor challenges here and there, but overall it was obvious they were ready when we came.

On the second day of camp I was asked to share a message during the village devotional time. In similar situations in the past I'd have said no. I only had two days to prepare. The theme wasn't one I had spent much time studying. But the answer fell out of my mouth before I really processed those details. "Yes, I'd be happy to!"

When it was time to speak, I realized that the group of 300 campers was the biggest group I had ever spoken to.

Our motto as Royal Rangers is "Be Ready" It's something I've been trying to teach others. Maybe I had finally learned myself. The state of being ready is completely dependent on the amount of preparation one does ahead of time. In organizing the trip for our 15 campers I had prepared the logistics ahead of time. Therefore we were ready when the day came to travel. The Eurocamp team was ready for us because they had prepared well ahead of time.

I believe the main reason I was ready to speak during our morning devotional time was because I've been spending this year consistently reading and studying Scripture more than any other time in my life. The Bible Project has helped with an incredible reading plan and intro videos that have helped me be immersed in God's Word. It was this constant discipline of devotional time that allowed me to be ready.

And I believe this is how we as ministry we as Christians, can best prepare for any event. In the New Testament we are constantly encouraged to be ready; "Be prepared to give an answer" (I Pet 3:15), "Be alert at all times" (Luke 21:36). Paul encourages us to put on the full armor of God which includes the sword of the Spirit. Being ready and studying the Word are strongly connected. That's what I experienced when I was out of my comfort zone of preparing a message without much time of preparation.

The camp was a huge success because of the preparation of the organizers. Our experience there and our trip there and back were smooth because of our preparedness and God's hand of grace upon us. We grew in our relationship with the Lord and with one another. All in all it was a tremendous experience for the 15 of us from Croatia. But if there's anything I would like to pass on to the younger Rangers it's this: Read, study and memorize Scripture so that you are always ready to serve the Lord in whatever capacity you are asked to.

The video below offers a taste of Royal Ranger Eurocamp 2016.