My parents were not campers. In fact, when my dad passed away when I was seventeen years old, we had been camping together exactly zero times. We didn’t hunt, fish, rides bikes or motorcycles, hike in the woods, shoot rifles, attend sporting events (not even mine), go to the movies, or pretty much anything else together. Now to be clear, that didn’t make my folks bad parents, they just didn’t do these things. Which, to be honest, left me feeling a bit unfulfilled as a kid, and different than most of the others boys I knew whose families were doing these things all of the time.
But I was all boy, and I longed to do them. So, you can imagine when the church I attended as a boy announced that they were staring a boy’s ministry called, Royal Rangers. In fact, I was as gung ho as could be. Because in Royal Rangers, we were told that in addition to the weekly meetings to be held at the church each week, there would also be special outings, which would include some camping and fishing trips.
And oh, there were also uniforms for those who became Royal Rangers. And I loved uniforms. Perhaps that is because I grew up on a military base, and was very impressed at all the men in their uniforms that I came in contact with every day. So, as it turned out, I hustled so much in the newspaper drive and the coke bottle drive fund raisers that we held in order to raise money for the Ranger uniforms, that I ended up being the first boy in our outpost to get mine. And it was awesome!
When the first campout was scheduled, I had my parents sign me up immediately. I still remember being ecstatic about my first campout. To this day I can recall how enthusiastic I was about getting to go on this event.
Now, because our church was small, and our outpost was brand new, we didn’t have most of the camping equipment that was necessary. So the men in the church pooled their camping resources together, and we were off.
The men of the church, who we called “commanders” in Royal Rangers, selected a campsite near a river, and I can’t tell you how overjoyed I was when we pulled up to this spot in the woods where we would be spending the night. This was my first campout ever, and I was savoring every moment.
As I stated, our church was so new at this ministry to boys that we didn’t even have any tents for our first campout. So, we all laid out our sleeping bags in three rows on the grass as we were instructed, for a night sleeping under the stars. Then after our dinner, some campfire stories, and prayer, everyone climbed into their sleeping bags for the night.
Perhaps thirty minutes or so after we had gone to bed, as I was dozing off and entering dreamland, I felt something happening in my right ear. Now, suddenly I was wide awake and realized that something had crawled inside of my ear and was now walking around inside my ear canal, and it was driving me crazy! It felt like something was marching around inside of my head. It was horrible!
I immediately got up and awakened one of the commanders, and told him about my problem. It took him a minute or so to really wake up and become convinced that I had a genuine issue. And then he got up, and got the other two commanders up, too. Because it was so dark, one of them grabbed a flash light and shined it inside of my ear, trying to see if they could see anything at all.
At first, they couldn’t see anything, but I assured them there was something still in there. Then, as they held the light in place, shining it inside my ear, suddenly an ant began to exit my ear, moving to the light. When the commander holding the flashlight saw the ant, he quickly whisked it away with his finger before it went back down inside of my ear canal. The commanders began talking among themselves about how the ant moved in the direction of the light.
I often recall this story when I read certain verses, like the one below.
“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” 2 Corinthians 4:4 KJV
Since even a bug has the good sense to move in the direction of the light, how much more would those people who have never received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior move towards Him, if you and I were unashamedly holding forth the light of the glorious gospel to them?
Just think of how many people would be able to crawl out of the pit the enemy has them in if we would commit ourselves to shinning the light of Jesus to them. So if you have been reluctant to share Jesus with others, I pray that you instead become bold in the Lord. And instead, become the light that those who are lost can see, so that it will lead them out of the kingdom of darkness, and into the Family of God.
People will die in their sins and spend eternity in Hell, if you and I do not shine our light to a dark world.
Just as I needed someone to shine a light in my ear to get that ant out, others around you are needing you to shine brightly for Jesus, like a lighthouse directing a lost ship to shore. So if you are still pondering what you are to do for Jesus and His Kingdom, just be a light. Be a light, and rescue human lives for God in these last days.