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Words from the Pastors - Sam Bell

Sharing a bit of encouragement and inspiration outside of our regular Sunday Services.

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A Series of Unfortunate Events

by Sam Bell

In the summer of grade 9 my family went to a camp called Sunnybrae near Salmon Arm for “Family Camp”. One day in the middle of the week one of the counselors asked all the youth if they would like to play a game of manhunt later that night. (Manhunt is where the youth hide in the forest and the counselors have to find them) We met at the edge of the forest behind the camp. We were given 5 minutes to hide. I remember running into the forest where I quickly found a hollowed out area covered by ferns and brush, and I settled in for the long haul. I did not want to be found first.

I don’t know how long I was hiding but all of a sudden everything got really quiet and really dark. So I waited a while longer, thinking the game was still going on.

At some point I was getting cold and tired of being curled up on the ground so I started to make my way back. I must have made a wrong turn as I just kept walking trying to see the lights of the cabins or any light through the trees. I was freaking out, lost with no source of light, so I kept walking. It was so dark and I was just making wild guesses, getting scratched by branches and getting caught in prickle bushes. Muddy and dirty, I was cold and just wanted to find my way back.

After what seemed like forever, I finally gave up… and then I fell, yes literally fell into the camp archery range. I came to an edge I couldn’t see and landed in this clearing. All of a sudden I had a sense of direction and got my bearings back. I found the path and walked out of the forest expecting to see everyone else who had been caught, instead it looked like everyone had gone to sleep and that the game had been over for a long time. I remember quietly walking back to where my family was staying, crawling into bed, and falling asleep.

I don’t know about you but often my life can feel like a late night game of manhunt. Thinking I know the best way to play and the goal I’m supposed to achieve. It’s not until I come to the point where I am willing to admit that maybe I don’t know what to do, or the right direction when God sees an openness on my part for Him to show up right smack dab in the middle of the situation to bring clarity and direction. Faith in our lives can feel like falling into an archery range, it’s unexpected, strange, perfect, and timely all at the same time.

Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”