Often, my good friend, Woody Johnson, used to teach, “As Christians, we have no rights. Our job is to listen and obey.” Of course, she was talking about obedience to God, not obedience to men. However, there are times that all of us need to simply listen and obey. Our American way of life resists this notion.
It has been suggested by a few that the Camp/Retreat Agape volunteers adopt this motto for Camp/Retreat Agape in regard to Rev. Richard Stimson who is the founder of Special Gathering and the executive director, and me, Linda Howard, area director of Indian River Special Gathering. Camp Agape is actually divided into two separate groups of people. Richard has the responsibility for about 120 people from Central and North Brevard, Jacksonville and Volusia County. I am responsible for 93 people from South Brevard and Indian River County.
Understand, that Stimson and I don’t believe that we are always right; but we do have the responsibility for the 200 people we take from their parents, their homes and their apartments for the four-day weekend.
Stimson and I enjoy the merciless ribbing we receive each year. All of our volunteers are amazing people who understand the level of risk that is taken each year to host these men and women who are part of the mentally challenged community.
The principle of submission does run through the New Testament teachings. Paul said that we are to submit to each other. In planning the weekend, there are times that I do what Rev. Stimson desires and he says that HE ALWAYS DOES WHAT I WANT TO DO. We try to submit to each other allowing each one to use our skills. Additionally, we try to match our volunteers with the tasks which they will enjoy, matching their skill set to the needed tasks.
Often, we make our sternness during camp the brunt of camper jokes. The first day of camp, Stimson wears a shirt that says, “I’m not mean. I’m just focused.” I sometimes wear a shirt that says, “I’m not mean. You’re just a wimp.”
Is there someone to whom you feel the need to submit in a Christian manner? What have been the times when you need to come under the authority of another person?
Photo by Ladybug Photography by Tarah Risher.