How do we measure the success of pyc? One way to measure it is by what you do with the knowledge that you received there in the days, weeks, months and years that follow camp.
Sometimes after camp, we hear from your parents and congregations about how your spiritual lives have improved, that you obey your parents much better, or that you get along better with your siblings. One year after pyc, a mom told me how relieved she felt when she saw her child return home and begin to do Bible study more often. These are all great reports to hear.
Pyc is an enjoyable time, but what are you doing with what you were taught there? You are given a lot of knowledge at camp, but if you don’t do anything with it, it is of no real value to you. What you do with what you have learned is the true, lasting measure of camp’s success.
Each of us must treat this as a personal responsibility. We have to apply what we have been taught. It’s one thing to have the knowledge, but we have to take the next step—to actually apply it.
Especially as a youth, it’s easy to think that you have all the time in the world, but recent news events show that time is so short. We are hurtling toward the return of Christ, and you don’t have much time to take advantage of this opportunity. God tailor-made those messages for you. Don’t let the knowledge you were given remain as inactive words in a notebook.
In James 4:17, Paul wrote, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” In The Epistle of James, Mr. Gerald Flurry wrote about this verse: “We could view this as the theme of the whole epistle of James: We can’t escape what we know—and we know a lot!”
Earlier in the book of James, Paul admonishes us to be “doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22). It isn’t enough to hear; we have to do.
That mom who was so happy to see her child growing and doing more Bible study was my mom, and she was telling it to me. We had just left the wcg, and I was struggling with that. My parents had begged me to go to camp so that I could experience what you teens have experienced at pyc, but I struggled with the decision of whether to go. I had a lot of Laodicea in my mind and in my life.
I had just graduated high school, and I was 18 at the time. After they promised to pay me for the weeks of work I would have to take off from my glorious job at Taco Bell, I decided to come to pyc. I came, and that experience truly changed my life. It made me face all the truth that I had been taught and could not escape knowing.
Maybe there is an area where you know you are a bit rebellious. Camp helps you to face that. Through pyc, God will correct you and teach you in love, whether through your counselors, the other workers, the experiences you have, or the messages. If you apply what He teaches you, it will change your life in a positive way. You can’t escape what you have been taught, and you each have areas you need to improve in. You have been given a lot of knowledge. The question is: What are you doing with it?
In a recent Royal Vision, Mr. Flurry brought out a verse in Jude that made me immediately think of you campers: “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 1:24).
Don’t ever forget that Christ can keep you from falling. That means submitting to His program: Bible study, prayer, meditation and fasting. Those shouldn’t just be your parents’ habits. Don’t just let pyc be the best three weeks of your life. Let the tailor-made experiences you had there create a lasting effect in your life.
Jesus Christ has promised that you will be in His glorious presence with exceeding joy. We will be right there at the marriage supper, ready to assist Him in saving the world. That future includes you teens—you have the opportunity to be a part of that calling. Apply the instructions you have been given. They point you toward living God’s way of life and that wonderful future that is just ahead of us.
What will be said about you after pyc? Hopefully you won’t be one of those few negative statistics. Hopefully people will say that it was awesome to see you come back more committed to God’s Family. Hopefully people will say that you came back with more enthusiasm for God’s Work.
You know a lot. Now what are you going to do with it?