I can remember the day my mom dropped me off at bible camp. I wasn't religious, but I was so excited to spend a week with my friends, surrounded by nature, singing around a campfire, doing arts & crafts, and catching sunfish off the dock. I waved as the car drove away down the wooded drive and then went off in search of a familiar face. As it turned out, my parents had signed me up for the wrong camp, and my friends were all frolicking at one of the other 10,000 Minnesota lakes.
I didn't have much prior experience with church, so naturally, I felt like an outsider. I fumbled my way through the "our Father's" and tried my best to remember not to pick up my dinner fork until one of the camp counselors had said a little prayer, but all in all I was miserable at that camp. I couldn't help but picture my friends having an absolute gas together, wherever they were- while I was doing my best to tolerate my irritating cabin mate and memorize psalms. I called my mom, crying, several times a day until she caved and came to retrieve her little heathen. I pulled the same stunt in college, but I'll save that story for another time.The point of this tragic little childhood tale is that a feeling of belonging is something we all crave and we all deserve. The memories I have of bible camp are very negative because I felt unaccepted- and unfortunately I tend to remember the bad things more often than the good. Fast forward to the present and the same is true. Luckily I have a solid support system to see me through the murky waters and a band of brothers who always have my back. Last night we played a show at Mayslack's and as I looked out into the audience at the smiling faces of folks who have found something meaningful in the music & the environment that we're creating, I felt an overwhelming sense of kinship to everyone in the room. The energy from our friends, family, and fans was intoxicating and I knew I belonged. The next time I get a wild hair up my ass and decide to sign up for bible camp, I'm taking you all with me. ;-)