“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
In a few days we will celebrate the coming of Jesus——the Wonderful Counselor—among other things. Is He a wonderful counselor to me? Is He your counselor? Is the Son of God the one that I look to for direction each day and as I go about this adventure called “life”?
I’ve been going to camp for almost 50 summers now, and I can attest that the most important staff at camp is not the coaches, drivers, cooks or housekeepers. Yes, they are essential for a Christian sports camp, such as ours, but the most critical job is that of a cabin counselor. It’s the counselor that serves as the mom, dad, priest, sergeant, leader and “rock” within that cabin. The good camp counselor keeps the family of campers and support staff together, sets the pace, establishes the rules, and looks after the flock placed in his/her care. When I go about interviewing and hiring staff, the counselor is the one I am most focused upon. Is the applicant pleasant, kind, attentive, mature, able to put themself last, and, most importantly, can they lead the child down the path they have also traveled?
Once a staff is placed in the cabin with children, they don’t have the choice of being a counselor or not—-they are the counselor. What remains to be seen is if they are a good counselor or poor one. In over forty years of directing my own camps, I have rarely, if ever, see a poor counselor become a good one. Either you hire the right “material” when you hire that staff (and then follow up training and equipping) or you fight with the wrong -person-in-the-wrong-job all summer. We find it best to simply part ways, the same day, when a it becomes obvious that counselor does not measure up to our standards. After all, campers only attend for a week, in some instances.
Over 2000 years ago, God gave mankind a Counselor of His own choosing—-and it was the very best one we could ever hope for. Our Counselor, Jesus Christ, never fails us, leads us down the wrong path, or abandons during a campout or when things get tough. The Counselor we have is not only the one that lives in our cabins with us (i.e. our “souls), but if we heed Him, we’ll find that our little cabins are far better off if we just listen to Him follow Him…
When I first began spending my summers as a staff, I was a cabin counselor in Cabin 8. I have been a staff at camp ever since. But after 47 summers of camp, doing many different jobs including my present position as the camp’s director, no job was ever more satisfying than being a trusted counselor to the campers. There’s great satisfaction in knowing that you’re making a difference in a young life.
The Wonderful Counselor made a difference in my life many years ago—-and, praise God, He continue to do so. My task, in the summers that remain, is to introduce young people from all across the globe to the “Counselor”. Do you know the Wonderful Counselor?