Excerpts From A Conversation Of Significance
I have a camp this weekend.. and it always frustrates me when the slightly older, independant members of the community chose to leave early. It breaks the flow, it devalues the time together.. all these things. So when one of my beloved ones, told me that he was planning on leaving early.. I spit a few tacks. In writing to him, trying to explain my frustration.. I happened upon something that I like.
I thought I would write a quick note so as to not let this become more
of a big deal than it is, because maintaining perspective is always
important, and I like to have moments of rationality thrown into my usual
exorbitant emotional state.
Outside of that, people leaving early has always been one of the most
challenging parts of camp, because it brings such a broken feeling to
the rest of the community. This has been something that I’ve worked so hard
to prevent this year, to the extent of even saying to Blue that I would
rather he didn’t come than leave early. It’s morale-reducing and makes
the whole camp start to slow down.
So please understand I’m frustrated by a contentedness to want to change
the rules or bend them because it seems that your priorities have
changed from what they were a year ago. Mine haven’t and I still believe in the
value of camp. That sense of disappointment isn’t restricted and goes
for other people I found out are also planning the same thing.
We talk and talk and talk about wanting the most from community, but we
miss the boat a billion times. We make rules instead of principles, and
rules are infinitely easier to break. We can easily say ‘don’t do this
because it’s wrong’ .. but there’s no meaning to that. Or we can say
‘don’t do this because the best possible thing you could do is this
We live in a world of half-assed people who play by the rules so long as
it suits them, but still don’t bother to pick up on the deeper principles that go underneath. The rules are the do’s and don’ts that prevent us from doing the WRONG thing, but abiding by the principles will help us to do the very BEST thing.
It’s not wrong to go home early if it fits in with your priorities. But
the best thing would be to invest in the whole weekend, because then
everybody benefits from your presence, and you benefit from being in the
community and that’s everybody’s priority.
So I understand that people will continue to make their choices, and it
could be as simple as a matter of opinion, and we can agree to disagree,
although once upon a time, we held the same side of the argument. We
believed in the priority of the group, being important for the
individuals to value as well.
Doing The Very Best Thing
It refers to the apathetic nature of our culture. Particularly where I am on the North Shore of Auckland. People value the prerogative of independence & freedom, more than the distinctive of the whole. There are multiple justifications for it, some of them more reasonable than others.. but for someone like me, who’s life-work has become serving the People of God.. it’s hard when the People would like a revolving door.
It’s not enough to not do the bad stuff, for that only leaves you halfway.. a full, brimming over life comes from choosing to do the best things.. So, you want an overflowing community experience.. you must overflow and invest into that.
These thoughts are still too un-constructed to really be here.. but the implications or basis for application is broad, and I’ll think about it some more.