Monuments Don’t Memorialize Safe Choices
As we start, remember this: monuments are not built to memorialize the safe choices made in life. How many times do you need to see Mount Rushmore before you avoid it on a trip out west? For Margy and I, we had not yet reached that limit so we drove the windy mountainous road for one more look. We took the walking tour that leads right to the edge of the rubble left over from years of blasting. Being that close to the granite sculptures was quite breathtaking. As the tour guide gave his spiel, he lingered on each man whose bust was carved out of the mountain. One by one he talked about the extreme sacrifices these men had made. They shaped the culture of this great land and why the sculptor Gutzon Borglum chose to memorialize their efforts.
This left a question that begged asking. What kind of sacrifices have I made in this life that would be noteworthy and beneficial after my death?
“Here I stand…I can do no other”
The more I pondered that question, the more I came to a conclusion. Monuments are not built to memorialize the safe choices made in life. I remember in college watching a film on the life of Martin Luther. One scene stood out and is still vivid in my mind. On April 2, 1521, Luther stood before a council and declared: “here I stand…I can do no other.” Knowing that his stand could cost him his life, his lip quivered and his legs became weak. Yet, he believed so strongly that man is justified by faith that he was willing to lay down his life. That conviction spread throughout the entire world and the reformation was begun.
Recently, I took the LIFT interns to the dining hall to see the site plan that was developed in October of 1998. There was a dream of expanding our ministry and little to show that this dream would ever be a reality. After many steps of faith by the board and staff, we bear witness to the improvements God has provided. These improvements have played a huge part in the impact we can have on the campers He brings our way.
The Gospel is Going Forward
While there are no granite busts memorializing these accomplishments, the gospel is going forward and lives are being changed. I fully expect that someday in heaven there will be a huge Lake Ann Camp reunion and we are all pretty excited to be there and see the full impact of all the “unsafe choices” made to advance the cause of Christ on these grounds. Each year, just before the summer staff parts to go to their homes, we talk about a Lake Ann reunion that will take place in the Northwest corner of heaven following the rapture. Please know that if this ministry impacted your life, you too are invited to share in the celebration!
Sabbatical Take-aways that Will Impact Your Campers this Summer (Part Three) was written by Ken Riley, Executive Director at Lake Ann Camp and Retreat Center.