We reached the half-way point of our time at camp and my adult co-leader and I still had a good relationship. We were on our best behavior, working together for the first time and getting to know each other.
However, as the weariness of late nights/early mornings took its toll and different leadership styles became evident, air in the balloon of tension slowly started filling up.
I came to her with a concern but it did not go well for either one of us. The balloon inflated more. We tried to discuss the issue but it was clear we were not on the same page and I left the conversation without resolution. We went our separate ways.
The balloon was almost bursting now.
After a half hour passed, I walked back out towards the volleyball court where I thought she was. I wanted to talk, but she wasn’t there. I prayed quietly in my heart that the Lord would bring us together soon; I wanted to work with her to resolve our issues.
Within a few minutes, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Turning to see her, I was both relieved but also apprehensive about how our conversation would go. We found a remote picnic table, sat down and turned towards each other. There was a bursting balloon hovering above our heads.
I gave her my full attention. I listened and didn’t interrupt. This sounds simple but it was not. I had a million ready responses on the tip of my tongue. As she spoke, the Holy Spirit reminded me that Satan would be delighted if our conflict was not resolved and we were divided….. I was not going to let him win. The balloon began slowly deflating.
After she was done explaining, she returned the favor and patiently listened and gave me her full attention. We spoke frankly and with respect. We compromised in a way that satisfied both of us. She ask to pray together and we hugged before departing. The balloon was now flat on the ground, motionless and limp.
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” James 1:19-20
In Joyful Surrender,