“My name is Nikki Mueller. My camp name is Tiger Lily. I just graduated from the University of Missouri, and I’m on Adventure Staff here at LVR.”
I will give that staff intro of myself at the outdoor chapel every Sunday all summer long. It will get old. But right now, it’s the rally cry in my head when I start to stress. It’s so close I can taste it. I will graduate in less than two months. I’ll spend the next three months doing my dream job at Lutheran Valley Retreat, the perfect place.
I went there last summer with visions of the mountains dancing in my head. The mountains are spectacular, but I quickly learned they were just the backdrop for the real focal point. At LVR, I am completely unselfish. I shed all of my worst traits. The look-out-for-number-one attitude that rears its ugly head during the rat race of every day life. The “sure I trust God, but I have to stress about this” attitude that emerges when I get wrapped up in my own plans and goals.
All of it falls away. Every day is about God and the campers. The staff meshes together as a unit working toward a goal greater than us. I need that. A goal greater than myself. Something I can work toward and feel good about. Because I don’t know what I want for myself, and when I think I figure it out, it becomes unfulfilling. I need to look outside myself to find a modicum of contentment for my burned out heart.
The plane ticket has been purchased. Colorado, here I come! But it will be temporary, and so I need to keep on learning. I must strive for that selfless submission to God when I’m not at camp. It’s easy there because it’s all there is. I need that submission in the career search I’ll be launching in August. I need that selflessness for my upcoming marriage to succeed. I need that total trust in the Lord to wipe away the anxiety over the unknown.
Soon, I will be a college graduate. Soon, I will be a wife. The journey is changing. I want to give God total control.
“The road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the road has gone
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.”