Why would I send my High Schooler to a Night Owl Camp?! A late night camp full of teens? What would happen? Would they bond? Make new friends? Or leave just the same as they came?
I’ll be the first to say that you can see Christ in anything – sunshine, cinnamon roll Friday, pool time – normal camp things at normal camp hours. Even the Apostle Paul has something to add to this:
"For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." Romans 1:20 (ESV)
Meaning, we can see God in everything. Also meaning, it doesn’t HAVE to be late at night, it can definitely be during normal, human hours (no worries, early birds, we still love you) but for these Night Owls, we see God differently.
We see Him in the stars and the little embers flickering in the campfire; we hear Him in the sounds of the night and in the giggled secrets shared in the comfort of a hammock under the open sky. We experience God in that special feeling in the depth of our souls that we were each made in His image - someone God designed incredibly intricate and one of a kind. Someone God looks upon and says "You are mine."
One of my favorite things ever is when the moon shines so brightly there's a moon-shadow (Cat Stephens, anybody?). Now, I'm no astrologist or scientist or whatever you call someone who knows stuff like that, but I know that for the moon to shine enough light to cast a shadow, it has to be in a good position in relation to the sun.
How much more true is that for us? If we are called to mimic the other sun (the SON kind, to be specific) shouldn't our lives be postured in relation to best reflect the Son? So that our lives can glow brightly and cast Jesus-light into the depths of the night.
So no, it doesn't have to be Night Owl Camp. It doesn't have to be any camp at all. But when it is, at least here at Heartland, it's something quite wonderful.
Night Owl Camp is a reminder that we – just like the moon – are called to reflect the goodness of the Son. It's a reminder that we, just like Jesus, are called to be lights in the darkness.
"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:5 (ESV)
Not to be served, but to serve. Let's shine bright.