Overnight camp has ended.  If I included weeks such as service week and orientation, eight weeks of the most wonderful summer I have ever had have come and gone.  I mused with David Brown as I checked him out of the Fellowship that his wonderful cabin has come to harbor and will wait another year to set sail again.

During the last couple of weeks, it’s no wonder that I have been reading The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the reading this time around.  I would have an adventure at camp during the day and then an adventure at night before I slept.  One of the reasons I love these books so much is that I really have learned more about God and His interactions with me more from them than any of Lewis’ other writings.  My favorite from this book is how Aslan dealt with Eustace.  This guy was so full of himself that I could hardly read about him.  When his greed turned him into a dragon, lonely and ugly to behold, he really saw himself for what he was.  Try as he may to undress himself that he might be made clean, he could not do it.  When he allowed Aslan to do it, it hurt.  The scales and the ugliness were cut through deeply, leaving him tender to the touch.  Aslan washed him clean and Eustace was a new boy.

It was a beautiful picture of what I have seen take place in the hearts and lives of so many campers this summer.  They have been made new, washed in the blood of the Lamb.  They are righteous and holy, cleansed and forgiven, ready to live lives that will grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  The voyage has begun for them as the wonderful grace of God carries them to lands unknown.  I would say to them as Aslan said to Lucy – “Courage, dear heart.”

I have grown fond of the crew of the Dawn Treader and have grown even fonder of the crew that has sailed on these camp adventures – the New Life Camp staff.  I loved every moment with them.  We did not set sail with a passion of filling our bellies or our purses as Reepicheep would say, “but to seek honour and adventure.  And here is as great an adventure as ever I heard of, and here, if we turn back, no little impeachment of all our honours.”  We worked so hard to keep the ship running and sailing on course.  The storms came, but the ship did not sink.  The battles raged, but the crew came through victorious.  As we prayed through doorways, the Spirit filled the sails and took us to the distant pole.  We threw cargo overboard that held us back.  Our compass was the Word of God, and we never changed course.  I love these good people whose stout hearts have shown honour and adoration for the Lord Jesus Christ, our Captain.  This crew may never be together again on this earth, but when our final voyage is over and we harbor in eternity, we will be together forever in a land where the water is sweet to the taste and the light is brighter than any we have ever seen.  Until then, I pray we follow our Captain as He guides us into the great beyond.

P.S. – I am looking forward to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader when it comes out in theaters in December.