For Sam, Cara and George, the large problem looming in their lives on Sunday was if I received their camp forms for the Memorial Day Weekend retreat that The Special Gathering holds each year.
Special Gathering is a ministry within the mentally challenged (intellectually disabled) community.
For our members, this is an important four-day spiritual getaway and a vacation. They save their money all year to be able to attend the camp.
I stood in front of our members making announcements and their minds were pulled toward camp, not the weightier issues that had monopolized the conversations of most of my friends during the week: persecution of Christians in China, Israel’s 50th anniversary and the invasion of Palastians across their boards.
They weren’t concerned with Republican and Democatic party disputes, mounting federal debt, continuing budget short-falls in every state, 0r the implications of wars in the Middle Eastern countries.
Honestly, it was a jarring and refreshing change.
My small world had been occupied with the declining health of my late husband and the increased financial outflow I was facing. I smiled at the honest and forthright concerns that dominated their thoughts.
“Are you ready for camp?” they asked. ” Will we be able to have camp this year?”
I remembered a story that an evangelist from Nicaragua had told me about an event that happened one night when the Communists were taking over the government in the capitol city, Managua.
He was visiting his mother-in-law; and he asked her about the stereo set that she had borrowed from him a few months before.
“It was surreal,” he reported. “About the time I asked her about the stereo, a gun battle broke out in the streets of the city. Gun shots from the insurgents began to fill her house.
“We dived under the table for safety. As we lay there with our lives hanging in the balance, my mother-in-law started arguing with me about who owned the stereo.
“She insisted that I had given the equipment to her. I was in such shock.
“Bullets were flying around the house. We were hovering under the furniture.
“All she could think about was disputing the ownership of a stereo.”
It is obvious that the mentally challenged community are not the only people who campartmentalize their lives. I’ve not done any research on this subject but I wonder if our minds choose to process those things which affect our personal well-being before other issues are allowed to crowd our psyche.
Perhaps that is why we are constantly told from Genesis to Revelation to seek God and His will for our lives.
The hardest disciplines in Christendom seem to be prayer and meditation.
Without a set time and ordered regimen in my life, I will never do the hard work of prayer. Even though I cannot imagine that God Almighty wants to have a relationship with me and engage me in conversation, without a disciplined resolve, I will waltz through my day without giving prayer a second thought.
The world’s weighty problems do demand our time and energy in prayer. Additionally, we need to train our members to look beyond their daily needs, hurts and issues, seeking God for his perfect will to come into our world.