I couldn’t stand anything that summer. The new city where my family had moved. Being away from my friends. And my job as a camp counselor for 16 six-year-old boys.
But there was one good thing about that summer. All through high school, if I’d needed something, I’d made it happen. Now I couldn’t. I couldn’t create enough patience to deal with my campers, or muster the joy to get through what felt like the worst summer ever. I had to get a new view of my life, with God as the “centre and circumference of being” (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 204).
It wasn’t easy. But as I reoriented my thoughts to make things less about me and more about God, I started to catch glimpses that God is the source of the patience I wanted to express toward my campers. He is divine Love, supplying all the love I needed to love them. When I shifted my perspective to a God-centric one, I actually found joy. Because even though my circumstances hadn’t changed, I was feeling something wonderful: a closeness to, and reliance on, God.
In the summers that followed, I would have awesome jobs and internships. But when I look back on this particular summer, I’m grateful for it. The spiritual growth I experienced turned a terrible summer into one of the best I’ve had.