I like inside jokes. When I’m involved.
I was “tagged” in some facebook pics from 94, I was 14 (looking at me at 14 feels like the way i was dressed was an inside joke with myself), when I was at a camp in Hillsboro, In. That sounds like a town that would be in Indiana. The camp’s name was Twin Lake. I look like a total idiot, but then again, I still do. I wonder if when I’m 80 and I look back at pictures of me when I’m 30 and think the same thing. When I’m old, gray, imobile, and wearing a diaper. Will I be cool then? Was I cool when I was 14. Am I cool now? Man, I hope not. The pressure that comes with cool, Uggh.
Funny sidenote, for the 3 people that read my blog, my friend Brinson said yesterday, “I think you’re the first friend I’ve been around that has clinical A.D.D….” I have never been diagnosed, but it don’t take much, whether it be having a beer with me or reading this blog, that it’s probably true. And why I can write a blog everyday straight for a week, than take a year off: I get distracted.
Where was I? hey, look at that bird? Where was I, oh, pictures of when I was 14. Anywho, I had this extreme rush of nostalgia when I looked at those pictures. Steve Martin, had a similar experience, in his book “Born Standing Up” he talks about years and years after his success going back to Knotts Berry Farms, where when he was 18-22 he would perfrom on the stage at the park, when he returned he looked at old pics of himself, got on stage, and felt the air of familiarity. When life and Comedy, wasn’t so serious.
What meant so much to be as a 14 year old getting picked up by the church van in beechgrove, In and driving west to hillsboro, which I think was only a 45 minute drive, but at the time felt like a trip across the country, like I was going to a far off magical land. Home life wasn’t always the most fun for me, with the exception of surprise hang out times with my cousins, an occasional birthday, and Christmas, I guess…but for me the highlight of my year was always: Camp. Man, even now a rush of nostalgia runs through me as I remember, a life for me, even for a brief week ever summer (from 7-18) that wasn’t so serious. It was loving, safe, fun, and camp flings weren’t bad either:-)Classic. (warning inside joke: no purple)
I think there is something deeper that has given me the sugar rush of nostalgia. There was something lovely, and deeply moving and meaninful about my 14 year old heart. When I was innocent (not really, but as the old expression goes), when i wasn’t chasing a career (which is the grossest thing currenlty about me), when I simply cared about loving Jesus, people, and frankly just being a kid. I had so much fun at camp. I loved every minute of it. the van ride, eating at Mcdonalds (breakfast) on the way there, finding out which cabin I was in, who was my counselor (this was either good or bad…was he the strict one or the funny one) Once I had the funny one and he gave me his hat, I wore that thing for years. Wow, I haven’t thought about that in 15 years…I loved the games, the friends, the inside jokes, the candy, I loved going to chapel, I (no remember this was a baptist camp in the 90’s) I…me…david leo schultz…even loved dressing up for chapel…not that i had nice clothes…but we had to wear pants to chapel…i think my last few years we were allowed to wear jeans…but no shorts! Where in the bible were shorts unholy…ahhhh religion…you sneaky little bastard….anyway, but I did love it, I loved devotions. This is where I think my heart, and who the hidden, and true david was born, in the still quiet moments of individual devotion time at camp. The simplistic time of reading my bible, and underlining anything that stuck out, and praying bold childlike prayers of wanting Jesus to be my everything, not because my parents were christians, not because i needed rellgion, but because I genuinely believed, somehow even as a 7 year old, then 8, then, 18, then 25, now 30…somehow…by some miraculously genourous eye opening experience in my spirit, I know that the unconditional grace and love that somehow was the only hope I had as a 7 year old, and not much as changed, I’m 30 and still know that this is what I need. But oh where, oh where do I find it except in Jesus. Religion in and of itself, nope. Legalistic Christianity. Nope. Self. Nope. Even in harmless mondane activity of any kid, no matter how enjoyable. Nope. I’ve only found it in the my life quote by Manning “God loves you for who you are, not for who you’re not, cuz none of us are what we should be.”
Even though I tend to make life about so many things. Being funny, being competative, being argumentative, being in love, being in pusuit of my dreams and ambitions, even being “a christian”…but I’ve never found more comfort than in just being God’s, being loved by him, as I did that summers in Hillsboro Indiana at Twin Lakes Camp, as I sat Indian style, looking up at the clouds smiling and praying a childlike prayer of gratefullness for camp, for Jesus…as I imagine St. Francis did as he took a break from building the church. As I did was I was 14, as I did when I was 25, as I do now…the only difference is that the older I get the worse my Christian Resume looks, the more my failures, sins, and people I did not love well are added to my failure list…but thank God, I believe God will not look over my resume when I get to heaven…as Manning put’s it…I am convinced that on Judgement day God will ask me one and only one question…did you beleive that I loved you.
I have a slightly different picture of what will happen, almost as if it is an inside joke between me and God, and as personal and intimate, hard, and beautiful as it will be for me, is the same completely individual experience that it will be for those that Christ knows…I believe on that fateful day Jesus will see me, smile, and hug me, he will kiss me on the forhead, and through his compassion he will communicate his love as if to say, see I told ya…and through that same tenderness it will fly through the pages of my past, destroying both my collection of vices and virtues, and go, you are saved because I saved you, you are loved, because I am Love.
Oh, Lord thank you for Twin Lakes camp and having an inside Joke, called underserved loved, that I’m still trying to figure out the punchline. Amen
Thanks for reading.