Setting out on a journey is not always what you expect it to be. The first school week of 2023, I spent with lovely Year 11 students at Mount Tamborine’s Thunderbird Park on the Gold Coast. This will be one of the final camps of their school career. This is the year where the results matter because the future awaits. I witnessed a group of students who are sure of themselves. They’ve figured this school thing out and there are limitless possibilities out there. I chatted with students who want to be engineers, nurses, missionaries, mechanics, scientists, soldiers, and teachers.
Two years ago, I went to Thunderbird Park with another group of Year 11s but it was a time that was shrouded by a Covid cloud. The future looked dim, less certain. This year the optimism seems to have made its way back to kids’ hearts. I know the Lord has plans for them.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 says,
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
On this camp, we adventured out of the Thunderbird campsite with less than 30 students to walk the famous Cedar Falls that are part of Tamborine National Park. Camp staff told us it was a 10-minute walk however it took us 30 minutes. I started to grumble internally, “I thought this walk was brief.” But then we arrived at our destination of majestic cascading waterfalls and crystal-clear refreshing pools. I think only one student beat me to a dip but then most joined in on the fun. These students merged in delight. It reminds me of what Jesus says,
“Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up in him for eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)
Sometimes in midst of a journey, heartache, or trial, we think God has forgotten us. The good thing is anyone can come to God; he is approachable. You can talk to him, and he hears. Your prayers, I promise, are received. The expeditions of life can be challenging but you can endure with God guiding you. These students in Years 10, 11, 12 sometimes are exhausted and they want to throw in the towel. Giving up seems like the only plausible scenario but they can weather the storm. Sit down with your children, set goals and remind them of where they are headed. Perhaps they set their lock screen has a picture of an individual living out their desired vocation and if they are still unsure maybe it’s a waterfall. I know mine will be.
Sydney Moore, College Pastor