#3: They make you face yourself (in more ways than one).
“As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects man.” Proverbs 27:19
No matter what age you are, facing one’s own heart is difficult. The desire to hide and cover up sin comes as naturally as a toddler wanting brightly colored candy in the checkout aisle.
Even more difficult than facing one’s heart is knowing how to respond. There’s not a single unstained organ in the bunch – they are all dirty from sin. As someone who has struggled with an eating disorder, fear, insecurity, depression, and a host of other life-sucking leeches of natural and nurtured sin, it’s a comforting fact.
Facing ourselves is one of the toughest, and formative responsibilities of our lives. For the sake of survival we shove away our thoughts with trite sayings, try to argue them off, cynically bite back, or cave to their pressure. It takes an inhuman amount of intention and confidence to capture our thoughts, let alone put them through the filter of the gospel and submit to Christ.
That’s part of the whole point: we can’t (and shouldn’t) go through self-examination on our own. Our Creator is so incredibly willing and desirous to show us ourselves, and the depths of how He will fill us if we surrender to Him.
But everything in our lives has taught us to put up a front, to come to the Lord when we’re “ready.” Then of course there’s the issue of our pride. Needless to say, humans are complicated.
EQUIP Boot Camp was a healthy and life-giving environment for me, because I didn’t have to go through the grueling process of conviction without guidance and care. The staff and teachers are conscious of sin and the humility that the Lord justly demands. They graciously speak the truth without sparing or scaring the students.
Also, EQUIP Boot Camp is intentional with the schedule, to provide some time to process for different types of people. In the middle of the day, directly after a classroom session, there is mandatory Roomtime. It’s a glorious hour. Students can choose to journal, nap, or just lay quietly on their bed and work through their thoughts, bringing things they have seen in the mirror to the Lord.
At the risk of making a blanket statement: a week away from one’s common context, the internet, phones and everything else can do wonders for one’s perspective on themselves. That’s not saying students (like all people) don’t have the capacity to harden their hearts, or stop their ears.
Trust me, I was one of them. The first time I went to camp, Roomtime wasn’t glorious. In fact, I spent it in the closet crying silently. Class time (and the rest of the day) was pretty miserable too, because there was a very loud and all-consuming war going on for my soul (more on this later). But for all the pain, I am forever grateful for the gift of facing myself at camp, by being shown truth in the Word of God.
If you or someone you know is interested in attending EQUIP Boot Camp, here’s the application. It’s not the easiest thing to fill out in the world (spoiler: the application can’t be filled out without facing oneself). But I promise you that it’s worth it. Don’t wait though, applications are DUE February 1 (staff applications are also due Feb 1st).
Joy Knight was a 2014 intern, with degrees in English and Music. She of course loves good books and music, is a minor-league foodie and enjoys the outdoors. She started working fulltime on the Transform staff September 2014, where she seeks opportunities to serve the students and users of Precept through writing and other projects.