Special Places


The name brings to mind so many things:  images, sounds, tastes, and smells.

I remember the sight of a scummy pond and a row of tall swings.  There is the chapel that was really nothing special, but it was the location of many a transformation.

Then there were the sounds:  splashing in the swimming pool, the creaking of the cabin door.  And the sound of worship, teaching, and prayer.

There is the taste of kool-aid  turned into snow cones on a hot afternoon, and who could forget the smell of homemade campmade cinnamon rolls on Saturday morning.

Three out of four of my high school summers, I spent three weeks at camp, both as a camper and a sponsor.  Camp was a place to grow closer to God.  We would spend each camp session focused on worship, prayer, study, and fellowship.  And each year, returning was almost like coming home.  Even though I maintained my relationship with God during the rest of the year, going to camp just made me feel closer to God because of all the time I’d spent with Him there before.

I’ve been back once since I finished high school, and as I walked through the camp, it was as if the place had still been holding onto that for me.  Even though it had been a few years, going back still gave me that feeling of familiarity and closeness with God. 

But is Camp Cyokamo actually special?  Is that piece of property any more blessed by God than other places?  Is He more present there than other places?  In the dead of winter, is God biding His time there, waiting for us to come back to see Him during summer vacation?  Of course not.

It’s kind of like walking through the house you grew up in.  You lived there; your family interacted there.  But the house is not your family.

Special places in our spiritual lives may be sentimental and meaningful, but these places do not hold our relationships with God.

Believers carry the Holy Spirit inside us.  We are the temple of the Holy Spirit.  As important as these special places are, they are only important because of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us. 

If you’ve had a significant moment in your spiritual life and long to find that connection again, return to the place if you wish.  But more importantly, look to the Holy Spirit.  He was there, and He is here.  Talk with Him about before, and ask Him to do it again.  Your kitchen, your car, your office, even the grocery store can become a special and memorable place in your walk with the Father because the Holy Spirit is there with you.

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