We have all heard the saying, "The only things you can be certain of are death and taxes." I maintain they should add a third to that, you can count on life always changing. Let's be honest, what hasn't changed since we were children and are now adults.
This week I have been overcome with waves of nostalgia. Missing things from when I was a child. Camp Meeting, stores closed on Sundays, quieter times in general. But especially Camp Meeting.
When I was a little girl, my dad got his first (and sadly only) job as a pastor of a small Nazarene church in a small town named Lindsay, OK. I wasn't yet three when we moved and one of the compensations for him working in such a small church was that the district we worked for paid for us as a family to attend the Summer Camp Meetings.
Even after Dad passed away, we still made it a priority to make it to camp meeting. Anadarko, OK was only an hour or so away from where we lived at the time and we would go, pack a cooler and found ways to cut costs so we could attend. I don't remember a lot about the sermons, because I was a child at the time, but we looked forward to camp meeting, we got to see our friends, we got to occasionally purchase a yummy treat from the Snack Shack, I played for hours with friends in red clay (I'm sure my mom was less thrilled about me playing in the dirt than I was, have you ever tried to remove red Oklahoma clay from clothing? It's not an easy task.), for several years they had children's musicals. I sang my first solo at Camp Meeting because I had a new baby sister.
As I got older, I still looked forward to Camp Meeting but the sermons began to stick. Even with that change, I still loved going because again we got to see our friends and catch up. I remember playing, having fun, but I also remember late nights of Mom sitting around a card table with her friends laughing and playing SkipBo into the wee hours of the night, even though it meant I had to sleep with the lights on (not easy when you are on the top bunk). We even had arts and crafts at times, which was fun.
As a mom now, it's sad for me. My girls have never been to Camp Meeting. I moved to Kansas when I married Chris and they don't really have a Camp Meeting there. But it isn't just Camp Meeting that is disappearing, slowly we are seeing Revival services go away, family camps are not as focused on God anymore and more on fun. I miss these things, they changed and shaped who I grew up to become and it seems like such a disservice to our children to see them disappearing now. While Camp Meetings may have started off as a fun way to reconnect with our friends for me as a child, they have since added a new dimension - a time to praise the Lord and fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ and as I grew in Christ, to renew my faith and trust in God.
What do you miss from childhood that is rapidly disappearing?
Have a good weekend.