Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13 – Focus Verse: 1 Corinthians 13:11

Sometime in the mid 1990’s I was a Life Scout on the verge of completing my trail to Eagle. To be perfectly honest I would end up waiting until the last minute and scrambling to complete all of my requirements mere days before I turned 18; but that’s a different story for a different time. On this one particular day my troop was hiking into the peninsula for some primitive pack-in camping at Keowee-Toxaway State Park. The Trail to get there, Raven Rock Loop, is a strenuous one with close to 900′ in elevation change over a relatively short distance. At the time I was a well experienced backpacker with extra conditioning from wrestling season, so I was prepared. Several of our newer scouts were far less prepared. About halfway to the campsite we had already had to stop several times because our weakest scout just couldn’t make the journey with the additional weight of his pack. As we stopped one more time at the base of yet another steep climb I told that scout to take his pack off and I proceeded to strap his pack onto the back of mine. I carried his burden the rest of the way to camp, stopping only briefly to admire the beautiful view of the lake from the clear top of the ridge. I would like to say that I showed this act of kindness solely because of my Christian upbringing and because I knew my Scoutly duty to “Do a Good Turn Daily”; but sadly that was just a small part of why I did it. Mostly I just wanted to get to camp and I was tired of waiting on the weak little scouts. This was also an opportunity for me to show off how strong I was and thus how much “better” I was than the younger scouts. When we finally made it to the peninsula I set up my tent the fastest and set out to help the other scouts so that I wouldn’t get fussed at by the adult leaders when I went fishing when there was still work to do. That young scout, without prompting from any adult leader, thanked me for carrying his burden; and his father pulled me aside a little later to thank me for being such a fine example of leadership. It was a humbling experience. I believe that those words of thanks did more for my journey than my small act did for that scout.

We are all called to grow in our faith. Christianity is a perilous journey, not the safe destination that we like to envision it to be. I’m thankful to those who have helped me (and continue to help me) carry my burdens. 

Prayer (From UMH #597):
From the cowardice that dares not face new truth,
from the laziness that is contented with half-truth, 
for the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth,
Good Lord, deliver me. Amen. 

Josh Castleberry