I just got back from Camp Barnabus where I helped young adults with physical and mental struggles find ways to use their gifts. I was blessed so much more by them than they were by me. The best I could do was push them up and down hills in a wheel chair and try to do a lot of listening.
One camper is doing 4 weeks of service there. His application states that he had the mental age of a 12 year old even though he was over twice that age. The first night we all sat together and were asked how we planned to help the next day. His response, “I..I..I think I..I am going to change the world.” No exclamation point. Just a matter of fact statement. The next day, I found him trying to read the first chapter in Luke from his King James Bible. Many of the words did not make sense to him, so he asked me to read till breakfast time. The next morning as we gathered our stuff to head upstairs, he told me he wanted to commit his life to Christ. From what I could see he already knew God, so I wasn’t sure what he meant by that. As I spoke to the other staff about this, they assured me this was something he said regularly and that any ritual that could be done had been done. As we talked that night, he said, “I..I..I just feel like a child when I think about God.” Of course!
Ironically, that next day I met a much higher functioning young lady about the same physical age. She could navigate the ropes course with no assistance, had a black belt in Taikwondo, was a medalist in the special olympics, and reminded others about these things frequently. However, she had stopped “doing the church thing” a long time ago. She had no need for that sort of thing or having God in her life.
What was the difference? Was it the difference in mental age? I doubt it. Was it because one of them had been told something that the other had not? It did not appear to be the case. One looked around at their simple world and sensed that God was with them. The other looked around at their own accomplishments and did not sense that God was not with them.
Perhaps they were both correct.