I remember some of my first camping outings, and the valuable lessons that came from those experiences. One of the most significant insights I quickly gleaned, shared a theme with a famous real estate axiom: location, location, location. Where you camp makes all the difference. From the insulation beneath you, to loose limbs in the trees above, there are important things to consider before making camp. One part I wish I’d learned faster was recognizing how the runoff would affect my tent once it started to rain. Waking up to a small river inside the tent doesn’t make for a great night of rest.
For the last 15 years, I have been captivated by the power of the message of Psalm 1. Six simple, yet profound, verses establish the importance of where we choose to camp spiritually. The author of the Psalm begins by declaring blessed the person who does not camp on the paths of the wicked, sinners, and mockers. He then goes on to say that the person who puts their roots into the law of The Lord and meditates on it constantly will celebrate abundance in God.
This is a very powerful truth. If we follow the ways of the wicked and make our spiritual home there, we will miss out on tremendous blessings, and may suffer great loss here, and in eternity. However, if we delight ourselves in God’s way, we become like trees planted by streams of fresh water that give life, we flourish, bear fruit, and find strength. In the end, those who camp with God will prosper in what they do, for their foundation will be strong and solid.
In our day, as it was in the Psalmist’s time, there are a myriad of temptations to follow ways that are not of God. Some of these ways come with great cultural support, and we can even be made to feel that we are wrong for not embracing what the world around us says is right. The Bible is clear, however, that God’s ways are not our ways, nor are God’s thoughts our thoughts. It even says that the wisdom of the world is foolishness to God.
It makes all the difference where we camp, and it affects much more than our comfort in the experience. God’s way may not be popular, but it is always right, and if we want to flourish, we must be planted near the streams of healthy water that allow us to grow and thrive.
Unfortunately, there will be times when we will need to choose between being popular and accepted, or being where God calls us to be. When we face these difficult times, it is important to remember where life and blessing are truly found. The world, even our friends, may choose to camp in unhealthy and destructive paths, but we must wisely make camp where God calls us to go.
God’s call may lead us away from what others embrace, but God is not seeking to keep us from enjoying life, instead, God is calling us to the place of blessing, where we can experience God’s abundance, and prosper in all that we do.
May the tree of your life flourish and bear fruit, and may you prosper in all you do as you build your life upon the solid, healthy foundation of God.