Thoughts on life from Pat Oaks
I had gone on a mission trip. it wasn't my first one, so I knew what was ahead. If some of you have ever gone, you know it is a mixture of good and bad, easy and hard, ups and downs.
This trip was mostly ups for me and I have many wonderful memories.
The first night there, the person who was heading up the trip came up and put his arms on my shoulders. He said, "I have a feeling that I am going to give you the award at the end of week for going above and beyond the call of duty."
I have no idea why he said that to me since we had really not done anything up to that point for me to warrant such a glowing statement. Nevertheless, I poured myself into the week. It was hot (117 at one point) and dirty, but we got the job done the way we had hoped we would and I was proud of our work.
The last night, the person who said to me at the first of the week, that he thought I would be the one to receive his "award", stood up and gave this award to someone else.
I didn't give it a second thought at the time, because I was not there in order to receive an award for trying to do what I felt like the Lord had called me to do, but I started thinking about that incident this morning. I have watched that person through the years and have decided that for some reason he decided that I was not deserving.
When I say that that is ok with me, I mean it. I don't want to do anything I do for the praise of men. I have looked back on those 2 weeks, and tried to analyze the work our family did and all I care about is hearing the Lord say "well done thy good and faithful servant."
We must always do whatever we do "as unto the Lord"....not for the praise of man.
When I was in my early 20's, I worked for 3 summers at a girl scout camp on the mountain above Elizabethton, Tennessee. It was always cold on that mountain. Hence I slept in my Daddy's long handle underwear. I also had several heavy blankets on my bed.
We slept in iron beds in huge tents with wooden floors and canvas sides that we could roll up and down. We didn't sleep in the tents with our girls, which was a blessing! The counselors had our own tent. There were 3 of us in my tent.
It seemed to rain every night in camp Sky-Wa-Mo (Sky, Water, Mountain) and this particular night was no exception. It was not only raining cats and dogs, it was thundering and lightening.
Anyone who has ever worked with girls, probably knows that there is always a "drama queen". This week was no exception. We did indeed have a drama queen.
All our girls were safely in their tents for the night. Their tents were just like ours...large with wooden floors. I had just climbed into bed when a girl from the tent right above ours came running down the hill. She yelled "Emily's bed is halfway out of our tent and hanging out in the rain with her in it!" I looked up the hill and sure enough, there hung Emily...in her bed...in the pouring down rain.
I looked at her, then calmly turned to the messenger and said "tell Emily to either move her bed back into the tent or sleep in the rain all night. I'm going to bed." And I did.
Never ask someone else to do for you what you can do yourself. If you don't want to, then sleep in the rain all night.