by Cindy Patience
Vol. 19, Number 2, May/Jun/Jul/Aug 2018 Issue No. 75
It was “Sleep Under the Stars Night” at Junior Camp. The counselors had picked an open field at the top of a hill to set up camp. The campers were excited and laughed and sang as they carried their sleeping bags up the wooded trail to the top of the hill. After building a fire and roasting hotdogs, they happily chose their spots to lay out their sleeping bags.
As the sun dropped lower over the horizon, the campers pulled on their jackets and gathered around the fire to sing songs and share some skits. By the time campfire was nearly over, the stars had begun to pop out one by one until the entire sky seemed to glitter. There were no clouds and no lights from the city to keep them from seeing the night sky in its full glory.
The camp director stood up and pointed out the big dipper in the sky above. Then, pointing up a bit higher, he said, “Now, if you see the big dipper look above it, and you will find the little dipper. At the tip of the little dipper’s handle you will find the North Star, or Polaris.” Continuing on, he told the campers that ships once navigated using the North Star as a guide because it could be counted on to always remain the same. “It is bright, easy to find, and it never changes,” he explained.
The campers were silent as they gazed at the North Star. There were no traffic sounds, air conditioners blowing, or radios blaring. The only noises were the occasional sounds of frogs croaking, crickets chirping, and the song of a lone
whippoorwill. They were in awe of the brightness of the night sky in contrast to the darkening shadows of the forest around them. A soft, gentle breeze swept over them, causing the campfire to flicker and sending sparks up into the air. Everyone felt the sacredness of God’s creation around them.
“You know,” the camp director quietly continued, “there is someone else who never changes and who can always be counted on to show us the right way. Just like the North Star, he is easy to find if we seek for him with our whole hearts.”
The campers knew who the director was talking about, and the Lord’s Spirit felt very close at that moment. They pondered his words as they watched the fire dwindle into glowing amber ashes.
Before they said good night, they stood and held hands and sang, “Alleluia, Alleluia to God.” They could almost feel Jesus there with them. Later, as they rested in their sleeping bags, they once again gazed at the starry sky and the North Star, but not until they had thanked the Lord for always being there, ready to show them the way.
Camps are wonderful places to draw close to our friends and to Jesus. If you go to a camp or reunion this summer, make sure to look for the North Star in the night sky. When you do, remember that God loves you and always will!! He does not change.