“I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.” –CS Lewis from his book The Silver Chair
I love pre-teen kids especially just before they become teenagers. They are at a place emotionally and intellectually where they have begun to grasp the world around them. They authentically and spontaneously express and live their faith. In most cases they have not lived long enough to become cynical and trust comes naturally to them. These are the kids that the person who coined the term “child like faith” must have seen in their mind’s eye.
Over the fall we provide retreats at both of our overnight camps, called Juniors, designed specifically for this age group of kids – 4th, 5th and 6th graders. I love being around our Juniors Retreats because it allows me to be around these kids. They dance and sing with great passion in the large group sessions, they will ask stumping questions of their leaders in their small groups and they will attempt every activity we offer at camp.
In 36 hours they will worship, play and socialize until they’ve run through all their energy. Their leaders on the other hand seem to run out of natural energy long before the 36 hours are up. We know this based on the higher than normal coffee consumption and caffeinated drink sales at the Trading Post. But it’s the child like qualities – energy, trust, passion and faith that these kids possess that draw folks like these leaders, our staff and me to work and minister to and with them.
Every time I’m a part of one of these weekends, as I was a week ago and again this weekend, I leave inspired in my walk with Christ and wanting to live my life with the same faith and gusto as these kids do.