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When was the last time you were on an Adventure?  Traveled somewhere you have never been?  Traversed a path previously unseen?   Discovered something new, or at least new to you?

 

            I’m spending some time getting ready for summer camps.  The latest promo I created uses the theme of exploration.  I hope it entices a young person who’s never been to give it a try.  The word “explorers” immediately came to mind when I was thinking about our camps last year, because none of us had ever been to a WV camping week at Camp Laurelview in Pennsylvania.  We were explorers of new territory. 

 

            There was a lot we learned in our week of exploration.  I learned that a good kitchen crew is a must (thanks Pam & Bernie!).  I learned that skunks don’t care what time of the day or night it is when the spray.  Do you see that picture of the waterfall?  That is Cucumber Falls.  I learned that I could know both joy and fear within the same breath when 35 of someone else’s kids are playing around it!  We also learned the Fruit of the Spirit (our theme for the week) and the truth that exploring is an invigorating way to live out the Spirit’s fruit.

 

            I’m inviting you to consider exploring this summer.  I realize most of you won’t be able to come to camp (but if you can, reach out to me!).  I understand that some types of exploration won’t be feasible with the physical or financial demands it places on us, but don’t let that limit the possibilities of exploration.  Here are some possibilities:

 

            Creation—traveling and hiking are great exploration practices.  But creation exploration can be as close as your own backyard or as accessible as your next car trip.  It’s not where you go, but how you enter into it.  Be curious.  Be attentive.  Be open.  Be free to explore.

            People—some of God’s most interesting creations.  How do you explore people?  The same way you explore the wilderness…curiosity and attentiveness, and a willingness to experience God in someone new.  I know it’s difficult to go to different places and meet different people, but exploration isn’t always easy.  It can, however, be deeply rewarding.

            Thoughts and Ideas—want to be an explorer, start with the library.  Thoughts and ideas are as deeply beautiful as canyon sunsets, and as complicated as wilderness ecosystems.  Many thoughts and ideas seem to come to us through the process of media bias and land superficial and one sided.  Interested in immigration?  Israel-Palestine?  Systemic Racism?  Explore a topic in-depth and not from a talking head.  Talk with a librarian about something you’re interested in and always wanted to learn more about; librarians can be wonderful exploration guides. 

            Practices—have you ever been curious about Yoga?  Chair Yoga is a great place to start, and is happening on Tuesday’s at 9a.m. here at the church.  Meditation?  Journaling?  Gardening?  Justice-making?  Are there practices that you can explore, take up as your own, and add depth and meaning to your life and the world?

 

            It’s a great-big-beautiful world out there, just waiting to be explored!  May you embark on an adventure this summer.  May God be your guide.  I can’t wait to hear all about it when you return.  Blessings on the Journey.

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