The Dock: an ordinary wooden platform that reaches out across a body of water. A place that witnesses the energy and craziness of the day, but observes the stillness and peace of the quiet night. It is a place that I am very well acquainted with and have grown to admire greatly.
For the past three summers I have worked as a counselor at a Youth Bible Camp called Camp Bayouca. Its a camp that has become the grounds to more than just the physical camp itself. It has become the ground to experiences that have changed lives. From a personal standpoint, it has also become the grounds for many of the messages God has led me to write. The Dock is no exception.
Since the first year I have worked at camp, the dock was the place I found my peace. When I felt the pressure of everything going on around me, I went to the dock. When I wanted answers and knew only God could supply them, with the company of the still night I went to the dock. There was nothing special about the dock itself, just an ordinary wooden platform reaching out across the glistening lake. Reflections of stars twinkled on the lake’s surface. Even looking down forced you to look up and marvel at the glorious sight the night sky had to offer. The demonstration of God’s power was clearly seen through his beautiful handiwork and it forced me to acknowledge his presence as I sat encapsulated by it all. It was on the dock that God told me to write, and it was the dock where God told me what to write on my heart.
Three years I went to that dock but now there sits in front me a new blank page that reads, “Chapter 2”. I sat around thinking endlessly how to start this new chapter; one that no longer includes trips down to the dock. A bitter feeling was planted in my heart as I left knowing my time as a counselor had come to an end. The dock is out of reach. But as I sat alone in my room contemplating my loss, a very familiar chill raced down my spine; the same chill I felt every time I visited the dock and God revealed something amazing to me. He reminded me of the insignificance of the dock itself and the magnificence of God’s purpose for my visits to it. I visited the dock not for the sake of the dock, but rather for the sake of my faith in Christ.
In the same way, I feel that we can idolize the structures and systems present today. Whether it is your own secret quiet place or your church, let us not forget that their purpose is not of their own use. Christ didn’t die for a building called the church. He died for a people called the church. Our churches and quiet places are like the dock. They are simple and ordinary, sometimes old and broken. Their beauty is not in themselves, but rather in what they lead us to. They lead us into the open where the peace of God is felt, the Glory of God is witnessed, and the Spirit of God is seen being reflected on our hearts. Our access to Christ is not reliant on the access to physical settings we deem worthy of God’s presence. Christ made his dwelling in the hearts of those who choose to believe in him. He deemed our believing hearts worthy.
Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them. You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. – Psalm 32:6-8
The Holy Spirit is our eternal dock, and with it inside us we never have to leave. Our Lord and Savior remains at our side whispering in our ear. He is our protector, teacher and counselor. The Spiritual dock is no place, its an experience in and of itself. Take a trip down to the Dock in prayer and see. One thing is for sure, the Dock is where you will find me.