It was my first year as a counsleor. As a matter of fact, it was the first camp that I had ever been a counselor and I was scared to death. We had done the training and gone through different scenarios of what I might do if _______ happened. But there is nothing that will take the place of experience. It was an elementary camp and so we had spent a great deal of time on homesickness and how to deal with it. I was pretty sure that I could handle it because I was the king of being homesick as a child.
Monday came and so did the kids. Ritchie was a young man going into the 3rd grade with the brightest red hair I have ever seen. My first tip-off that I was going to have a homesickness problem with Ritchie was when his mom came in and made his bed, set up all his stuff and was kissing him while he sat on her lap. As her tail lights faded from view, the tears came. “I wanna go home.” Ritchie, your mom just left, we don’t have a way to get in touch (the days before cell phones). We’re about to go to lunch, let’s eat and then we’re going swimming!! Ritchie stood in the pool crying. We eventually had to call Ritchie’s mom to come get him.
The next year, I was sitting on the porch with Bro. Ted Giordano and here comes Ritchie. He was a little taller but still had the same blazing red hair. He bounded up the stairs and announced, “Brother Ted and John, Do you remember what happened to me last year?” Ted and I played along and pretended not to remember. “No Ritchie, I’m not sure I do.” “You remember, that homesickness I had.” “Well, I do seem to remember something about that.” Ritchie said, “Well, you don’t have to worry about that this year!” Why is that? “Because I’m a changed MAN!” Richie proudly boasted. He stayed the whole week.
As we accept the grace and love of Christ, we become changed men and women. Each day our goal is to become more and more like Christ and that involves being changed from who we are now into the person God desires for us to be. Often times, the word change scares us and change is something that most of us don’t like because there is an unknown factor that goes along with change. Where ever we are now (be it bad or good) we at least know what to expect. But with change, we often times don’t have a clue as to what to expect and that fear can hold us back from experiencing some really cool things.