We will stay at a campground in tents or campers. Our time together will take us out of our comfort zones. We will see each other early in the morning before coffee or other normal routines that move us from the morning zombie-like appearance to something publicly presentable. We will prepare our breakfast meals over a campfire and camp stoves. We will battle mosquitoes and sunburn.
Our time together will be equal to four months of Sundays. Relationships blossom or blow-up with extended periods of time spent together, sometimes both. It is not surprising that the Bible records conflicts among the disciples, especially while they were spending 24/7 time with each other while following Jesus.
The disciples argued about who among them was the greatest. They were furious when they heard that James, John and their mother talked to Jesus about getting the best seats in heaven. The disciples were pointing the blame at each other for not bringing bread with them while traveling.
Jesus used those conflicts to draw His followers closer to Himself and each other. Jesus pointed them to a higher standard, a higher purpose and a higher calling. He does the same for you and I today.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Next time your church has a campout, retreat, short-term mission trip or extended conference, sign up to see how Jesus changes you when out of your comfort zone and conflicts occur. You may be surprised by how much you blossom.