Monthly Archives: April 2015

Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north

“If the clouds are full of water, they pour rain on the earth. Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there it will lie.”
– Ecclesiastes 11:3

It was in the late afternoon, on the third day of ISCF Camp 2015. The clouds had just rolled in over the country landscape and rain was falling. The sky was greatly overcast. The day up until this point had been several hours of logistical duties, and I felt like that we had nothing else to give. Drained. Sitting on the step on my right was my fellow camp overseer,equally as drained.

We decided to turn towards God’s word for perhaps even a small speckle of light. Some word of encouragement. And we flipped, and we landed on the 11th chapter of the book of Ecclesiastes. Okay… let’s read. It began: “Cast your bread upon the waters”.

And in our completely deadened state, we burst into utter laughter. What strange wisdom the Bible had to offer. We read on. “If the clouds are full of water, the pour rain on the earth”. Hysteria continued. Geography lesson from the word of God. Continuing, “Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there it will lie”.

What.

“Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there it will lie.”

Hold up. Are we seeing things, or is this legit? Right there; these few words were hysterical. Where a tree falls, the place it falls, there it will lie. Wow! And for the next half hour, the three of us were on the ground, laughing at this seemingly meaningless piece of wisdom.

Over the next few days, I reflected back upon these words. And with each moment, it made more and more sense. Let me tell you what ISCF camp was like from the perspective of a leader – someone who was involved in organising it.

Before camp had even begun, in the early weeks of the term, we were already running into problems. We had no attendees. We needed at least 80ish attendees for camp to even run. And the weeks progressed. Notes were due in the seventh week. And at that point, we were barely scraping half the number of attendees we needed. Things were not looking good. Yet, as we neared the holidays, and camp was barely a week or two away, our attendees list was overflowing. We had over a hundred people coming this year; so much that we needed to request extra cabins! How foolish were we to worry that we wouldn’t have enough people. Our God is the God of the universe, and we were worrying? Ridiculous, right?

A week out from camp, and weather forecasts were rolling in. Now, if you were on camp, you would have known that the plan was to hop off the train at Richmond in the afternoon and spend a few hours in the park before taking the bus to the campsite. Now, the weather. Rain was on the radar. I don’t know about you, but taking over 100 people to the park in the rain, with luggage, isn’t the most pleasant experience. And so, in the days leading up to camp, we were frantically planning, coming up with plan B’s and plan C’s if it were to rain.

Fast forward a few days, and it is the day of camp. I was driving up all the equipment earlier in the day. At first, the sky seemed ominously overcast, but then, the first rain drop fell on the windscreen. Then another. Then another. And it started pouring. WHAT WERE WE TO DO? Yet, ask anyone that went to camp. The moment they stepped out of Richmond station, the sky was blue, and the sun was shining. Rain? No. Plan B? No. God’s in control? Yes. From this, we started to learn – “perhaps God has a plan”.

Even with the smallest things; we ran into problems. In setting up all the music equipment, we realised that the campsite didn’t provide all the audio equipment we needed. They were, of course, provided just as we needed them. On the first day, the session time was looming closer and closer, and we didn’t have all the equipment driven up. We were waiting for a bass amp and drum kit – two of the most important things in the rock songs that we were going to open with. Come session time, and we still didn’t have a bass amp and drum kit. But God always provides. He gave us a way out. We could link everything through the sound system, and play drums (funnily enough) on the keyboard. We were so worried that the session wouldn’t work out. Foolishly. God has a plan.

Just a few of the stories and stresses that we leaders went through. But throughout the course of camp, we realised one important thing: God has a plan. It was almost as if He was toying with us. Ye of little faith. We have the God of the universe, the sovereign God who is in control. Yet, we worry and stress that things won’t work out. Foolish. I guess camp was one big lesson – to trust in Him. Because whatever happens, it is in His plan.

“Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there it will lie.”

If a tree falls to the south, it will lie to the south. If a tree falls to the north, it will lie to the north. Whatever happens happens. Because it’s in God’s will. And we should trust it.

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