A reflection by Youth Mission Trip Participant Jacob Vito
The Fridays of summer have become a bit bittersweet for me.
Thanks to a little camp named Calvary up on Lake Erie, Friday is now my end of the week, as it serves as the end of the camp session there. As the evening wanes, we gather in a chapel gazing out onto the water. We sing songs, we break bread, we light candles, and many counselors and campers find themselves at a loss for words. Some even cry.
Due to the fact that morning and night here in Bluefield, West Virginia, we sing those same songs I’ve come to know from my now numerous years at Calvary, the two events have become linked for me. And, on this Friday (if you’re reading this when it’s posted), is once again a finale. It is the last
day of Mission Trip 2018.
I often myself looking to the future on these Fridays. I wonder how I can carry the experiences I’ve gained back with me and use them to better both myself and the people I meet. And, to be honest, I’m running out of time to figure out how. Because, no matter how much I may try and avoid the idea, this is going to be my last year of Calvary Camp. All people older that 16 become counselors, a challenge I don’t think I’ll be able to fit into my schedule. My last Friday night chapel will be only a few weeks from
now, and I may be shedding some tears of my own.
Regardless, I must find a way to confront what lies beyond those idyllic Fridays. Almost immediately after Calvary has finished, I pack my bags for Los Angeles again. School will start, and test prep for the SATs will follow that. I’ll be looking at colleges, going to auditions, and diving headfirst into
what will probably be the busiest year of my life so far. And, to be honest, I’m genuinely scared. I’m scared that my grades will be too poor, or my test scores too low, or my colleges too out of reach. With all this pressure, I find myself closing myself off, and hoping that if I can just fill my mind with other things and ignore the problems that face me, rather than at the very least acknowledging what I truly fear the most: the future.
However, one thing I’ve noticed about these Fridays, is the fact that in them I find an overwhelming sense of peace. I feel calm, and truly calm, rather than the false security I usually lull myself into. No matter the insurmountable odds that face me, even if just for a moment, I feel truly
confident, like everything’s going to work out. And this year, thanks to those simple Calvary songs, I’ll get to experience that unnatural peace once more than I usually would.
I’ve got two chances left to truly capture that feeling. I’ve got two tries to stretch that momentary delight across the next year, and the next one, and the one after that. I’ll admit it sounds like the odds are stacked against me. If I were in another situation, I’d agree with you. But, today is a Friday. Right now, I feel like I’m on top of the world, and I know I won’t fail. And, if the things don’t work out the way the should have, then I’ll play with the hand I’m dealt. So, when you see me again, whether it’s this summer or years down the line, just take a second. Remind me of that feeling once again. I’ve got a feeling that once I come down from this Friday high, that the worrying will come back. And, while you’re at it, remind yourself. Think of the times when you’ve truly felt peace. Use those moments to
empower you and to inspire you. Once you do, nothing can get in your way.