peace peace

Sub-Title: My Life as a Navy Seal for Jesus.

Donald Miller recounts his time at a christian camp as the time where he and a bunch of buddies made pact after pact to not get women pregnant, to not smoke, drink, etc. He says they were like Navy Seals for Jesus… Like many of us I jumped on his bandwagon and have been shedding evangelical layers right and left… If it weren’t for my wife, well let’s just not go there! I’m glad she reminds me not only that that is not the point of his book, but that Evangelicalism isn’t all bad…

Okay, despite the fact that I haven’t blogged for awhile (due in large part to losing my office to my still-gestating daughter Caroline) I recall that it is more fun to ask questions and to reminesce slightly than to preach. So, quick trip back in time to my time as a Navy Seal and then it is up to you – my five faithful readers – to pour your life stories onto the keyboard…

I served the Seals in Branson, Taney County Missouri, at Kanakuk Kamps. Despite the fact that I did sign the Seal contract every year to not impregnate women, injure animals, etc. I came to desperately need my Christian bubble. Working at Kanakuk, particularly when I led camping trips, was the simplest time in my life that I can recall. The fact is that divorce has always been a part of my life, I do not remember a time when I was not dealing with the ramifications of it every day. However, at Kamp my job (s) were so simple that I was able to breathe… Especially in the tumultuous summers of 99′ and 2000′ (Also my first two summers as a trip man). And while I remember sitting in the rocking chair on the deck of the trip-mens cabin by myself at 3:00 AM I also remember tying knots. As any worthwhile Seal/Kamp-person can, I could (who knows how one of my sheet-bends would look today in Kaldi’s) tie many solid knots. That particular summer (99′) I was the “Trip-packer”, which meant I was alone a lot and did lots of things like tie knots when they needed to be tied. So anyway, I had my propane torch (to melt the ends of the rope so they would not fray), my rope, and my caribener (Spelling???) type things that would hook the ropes onto the boats (I was tying boats to our docks so they would neither float away nor bang into the dock when it was windy). I took a few hours (many boats, many lines to each boat) and I recall feeling so peaceful. At that point in my life I had only one job: to set these boats up with their appropriate knots. I suppose I believed in the greater cause of Kamp, I suppose also that I enjoyed being outside on that crisp June morning at Tablerock Lake. But really the simplicity of it was nectar and ambrosia for my heart.

In “The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce” they write that children of divorce rarely recall (when asked in a general way about their childhood) playing. They played as much as other kids, but they simply do not recall it (I’m certain this is similar to other kinds of abuse, but I am currently reading baout divorce); they recall other things – the changes in their parents, their change of address, their role continually changing, etc. I found this to be true for my childhood, and for some reason made the conection back to Kamp as one of the only times where my life felt simple. I do not think only abused people or children of divorce crave some amount of simplicity and rest to their hearts, I only know that that condition exacerbated my need for it… So, the sermon was long, but the point was, Where and when has your life been simplest? I’m certain I will get some mountaintop experiences, but I do not care… Tell me that I may share in the peace you experience(d). Please.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s