My authentic self

“…What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (From Micah 6). This is the idea that has been selected as the Crystal Lake Camps 2011 metaphysical theme. And we love it!

One of the primary reasons I appreciate this Scriptural line is the inherent selflessness it includes. When we are expressing and demonstrating justice, mercy, and humility, we are proving our dedication to the concept of giving of ourselves to make the world a better place. And that, in a nutshell, is the CLC mission (I hope you can excuse my paraphrase) of training campers and staff to bless the world. Helping others – it is the foundation of CLC, right there in the mission statement.

I grew up with two brothers and two sisters; five kids and two parents makes for a pretty big family! And it was often fun – there was always someone to play with – but it also meant that it was hard to find time to be by myself if I needed to. For 14 years I shared a bedroom with my older brother, and in general, in a busy household with five kids plus friends, all the comings and goings meant our home life was rarely quiet.

Though I didn’t identify and realize this until well into my adulthood, one of the results of this home life meant that I became fiercely independent and rather self-absorbed…it was a sort of knee-jerk reaction to always having friends, family, media (yes, even in the pre-internet era there was a LOT of media diversion – TV, VCR movies, Atari, and the original Nintendo) pulling at my attention.

Then, however, I began going to camp at one of the other camps for Christian Scientists. While at camp, I always felt like the most authentic me. As a young boy, I didn’t totally understand this, but looking back, I can see what was going on. In Christian Science we are taught – and my own life experience has proved this time and time again – that we are naturally drawn to being good. We want to be good people, because God made us that way! It’s a great truth to understand. God made us good.

So while at camp – both during my camper and my staff years – I found that the community fostered selfless actions and thinking in myself through, not surprisingly, being just, merciful, and humble. When I was expressing these qualities, I was the happiest boy on earth. And I loved feeling like that. And at camp, I got to be that way all the time! It was incredible.

Fast forward to this year. Back in January, the CLC staff voted on a selection of possible ideas for the metaphysical theme, and this is the one that came out on top. And I’m so grateful. It has given me reason to look back on my own life, and to find and treasure the times when expressing qualities of justice, mercy, and humility had profound effects. Resulting from expressing these qualities, I can identify healings I had for myself (a broken finger; ear infection), healings I helped others have (broken foot; severe hypothermia), and most of all, I have been able to redeem some residual thoughts on my own childhood that weren’t very good.

This summer, I know I’m excited to see how the expression of justice, mercy and humility deepen the lives of campers and staff. We’re excited to see your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or whomever in your family attends – so we can support the growth of these qualities with them as we explore these qualities in Christian Science. It will be an exciting summer based on God’s love of each of his own ideas. Come on and join us for another metaphysically-inspiring year at Crystal Lake Camps!


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One Comment on “My authentic self”

  1. Great blog, Nathan. It reminds me of this passage from Science and Health in this week’s lesson: “A knowledge of the Science of being develops the latent abilities and possibilities of man. It extends the atmosphere of thought, giving mortals access to broader and higher realms. It raises the thinker into his native air of insight and perspicacity.” At CS camps, this is the expectation. What a gift.

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