catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 12, Num 21 :: 2013.11.15 — 2013.11.28


Left behind

Eyes closed, head down, I waited. I heard shifting chairs, shuffling feet. I risked a peek at my shoes. The kid to my left was gone. To my right, there stood a boy from a different cabin.

If he goes, I’ll go, I decide.

He stays. I stay.

Together we waited. When the sounds of movement died down, a camp staff member told us we could open our eyes. I looked around the room. Out of the two hundred kids that had filled the chapel moments earlier, there were five of us left.

Why didn’t they go? I wondered.

I knew why I hadn’t followed the others. The altar call was not meant for me. I wasn’t concerned about my salvation, having said the magic prayer five years earlier.

In fact, I doubted that the altar call had been meant for most of the kids who left the chapel with their counselors. How many had simply gone because they didn’t want to be left behind? And now there were just five of us standing there.

“Free time until noon,” said the staffer before walking out, leaving us to our own devices.

I walked over to my cabin. Empty. I didn’t know what I should be doing. I started to wish that I had simply gone with the other kids.

The craft hut was empty. The snack shop was closed. No lifeguard sat by the water’s edge. I walked the grounds.

In the distance, I saw my counselor sitting in the circle with the other kids from my cabin. I decide to approach them. Maybe it wasn’t too late to join in.

The conversation stopped as I stepped close.

“Hey Josh,” said my counselor. “What are you doing? Why don’t you go back to the cabin and wait for us? We’re talking.”

“Oh,” I said.

And so I went back to my cabin. I sat on my bunk and read the only book I brought with me to camp: my Bible.

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