My Son’s Crazy Camp Experiment
Make Your Life Mirror
My family hasn’t laughed that hard in a really long time. It was the doubled-over, snorting through your nose, can’t catch your breath sort of laugh. Ok, maybe I feel a “little” guilty that our raucous laughter was at my husband’s expense, but after a week apart due to youth camp in PA, an Improv trip in CA and a church wedding in NC, we all needed it.
It started with my son sharing his highlight reel from camp. He regaled us with the type of tales one might expect to hear when 27 junior and senior high boys share a cabin for a week. Sandwiched between stories of some barbaric game involving goldfish and frogs, and heart-touching God-moments, was “the experiment.”
During one of the worship times, he decided to try something.
“I wonder if I worship the same way my Dad does, if anyone will notice.”
So began the experiment, a few moments devoted to intentionally imitating my husband’s mannerisms during worship.
Trust me, it was at that point in the story that I wanted to quickly voice my disapproval. Something in the vein of, “Ahhh, you should be worshipping, not trying some kind of social experiment during the worship time!” ran through my mind. But he’s a great kid, and my husband and I gave him a little latitude on this one, perhaps out of sheer curiosity.
“What do you mean, you imitated me?” my husband asked incredulously. “I don’t do anything in worship.”
My son proceeded to respond with an animated reenactment of a typical Sunday morning. He even had descriptions for what he called – ahem – “Dad’s moves.”
The one-step (one foot in front of the other, shuffle style)
The point up (both hands pointer finger up)
The claw hands (hands up, fingers in a claw)
The bounce (up on the tip-toes)
The right hand drum stick (perhaps he’s playing along?)
The praying hands rub (hands in prayer position, rubbing together)
My daughter jumped in the action affirming my son’s every observation. “Yes!! Yes, Dad does that!”
I’m aware you might find this whole scene a tad disrespectful, or maybe even sacrilegious. But my husband was beside himself laughing. I mean, beside himself. He had never given his “worship style” a second thought, and to see his son imitating him sent our family into stitches. It was a no-holds-barred outrageous moment for our family and we soaked in the craziness of it all.
This morning, the scene replayed in my mind.
“Maybe I should’ve gotten on to my son for trying an experiment when he should’ve been worshipping…”
And I heard God’s gentle voice whisper these words:
“Your son watches your husband worship. He has observed him so intently, he can imitate his mannerisms in worship. He could be watching his father do a lot of things that you would never want him to imitate: coming in drunk, sitting on the computer for hours avoiding his family, or speaking harshly to you. Think about that, Angela, he has studied his dad in worship to the point that he can imitate his every move.”
Wow. That’s so God. Talk about “Making Your Life Mirror.” And you know what? The experiment resulted in 5 students coming up to my son with the same sentence: “You worship just like your Dad.”
It really hit home to me. I’m grateful my son has the opportunity to watch his dad on the front row each week, worshipping his heart out because he’s in love with Jesus. We are far from perfect parents and we’ve had our share of moments we’d love to erase. I pray the positive images leave the most lasting impact on our son’s life.
I could’ve written about a lot of things today, and you’d be reading words laced with heartache and tears. I’m grieving over the shootings in South Carolina and the moral decay of our nation. I’m heartbroken over lives tangled up in the enemy’s lies. I could rant. I could cry. I could quote Scripture and shake my fist in the air. Or, I could do exactly what my son did: Imitate my “Dad,” my Heavenly Father.
The world is watching Christians closely right now. And I wonder…
- Will they see me imitating Christ?
- Have I watched my “Heavenly Father” so closely that I can mirror his mannerisms?
I have my own camp stories, and my own mental imprints from people choosing to make their lives mirror Christ. Today, an old camp worship song ran through my head. I don’t know who wrote it or sang it, but I do remember this line:
“And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, they will know we are Christians by our love.”
We have the greatest opportunity in recent history to let the world see us imitating our Heavenly Father.
- What will they see?
- Do we know our Father’s heart so well that we can mirror His love to a broken world?
My husband had no idea our son was watching him, studying him to the point he could replicate his style of worship. We may have no idea who is watching us, but they are studying us…weighing our responses…and searching for one thing: “Do they look like their ‘Dad’?”
If you want to “Make Your Life Mirror” the Word of God and the character of God, make it your life goal to study His every move. Read how God demonstrated His love for a broken world. Observe how Christ treated lost, hurting people.
The highest compliment anyone could ever give me?
“You’re just like your ‘Dad’.”
Make Your Life Matter No Matter What
Leave me a comment! Congratulations to last week’s winner of “Breaking Up with Perfect,” Karen Clark!