This past week, my family took our best-ever family getaway. We went to a quaint lakeside camp nestled in the Laurel Highlands in western Pennsylvania. Run by the staff of Summer’s Best Two Weeks (SB2W), this 3-day 2-night family camp, appropriately named Summer’s Best Two Nights (SB2N), gave us a personalized, intimate, relationship-building experience. SB2W’s motto is “I’m Third,” which is a reference to the Bible verse in Matthew 22:37-29, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
At the root of I’m Third‘s meaning is Psalm 51:17, “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” In other words, to allow yourself to be 3rd in priority, you must sacrifice your wants, needs and desires and subordinate your interests to those of God first and other people second, in that order. The posture of your spirit is akin to a broken heart. But, please don’t feel sorry for me or anyone else with that character trait for it is beautiful. The point here is that God intends for the beauty of brokenheartedness to mingle with the beauty of boldness so that a new reality emerges even more beautiful than the sum of both. It is one of God’s most beautiful works, and it is one of the most needed in our day. I’m Third captures that sentiment succinctly and eloquently.
The experience at SB2N has affirmed my passion to “be third.” The only way that’s possible is by having a passion for knowing God experientially and serving others in His name.
- By being third, I am able to be a peacemaker at a time when society is dominated by conflict, anger and contention.
- By being third, I receive an internal peace that overflows in my relationships with others.
- By being third, when I experience disagreements, I have the peace of mind to respond in a Godly manner that defuses aggression and hostility.
Anyone who is preoccupied with exerting their rights, getting what they want and proving they’re right only breeds contention, anger, bitterness and resentment. None of those negative emotions can coexist with peace because they keep their focus off God and our their own selfish demands.
I am forever grateful for SB2W. They have packaged the solution to heal our society. Cultivate a passion for knowing God, a passion for serving others in His name and a passion for being third.
I’m grateful for my broken spirit. I’m thankful for my contrite heart. I’m Third.