ROSCOMMON, MI – “Bambi Lake Life” – This is the phrase we use here at Bambi Lake Retreat and Conference Center to describe the experience of being at Bambi. It embodies peace, love, joy, fellowship, renewal and personal time spent with God. It also alludes to being
aware of how God’s grace sustains and strengthens us when we humble ourselves in His presence. Bambi Lake has a way of showing us how small we are compared to God’s majestic creation while also reminding us of how extravagant His love has been poured out on us. Personally, I need those reminders.
Recently I was reminded, by Dr. Tony Lynn, just how important grace is in our lives. At Bambi Lake we are in the middle of finishing construction on a new slide scheduled to be open next spring. The slide is in place, however, there is no water gushing down the inside of the tubes. Dr. Tony, upon seeing the slide, decided he wanted to be the first to go down the new Bambi adventure. He got into the slide and then proceeded to “scoot” down the tube by pushing himself. All the way down you could hear the sound of him “scooting” along the bottom of the tube. Eventually he made it to the bottom of the slide and fell into the water which was quite cold. It was a very funny event to witness, and many have seen it on Facebook as it was also captured on video. I was very honored to have Dr. Lynn be the first down our new slide, it was extremely, belly laughing funny.
Nevertheless, this funny event served as a reminder of how grace or the lack of grace can work in our lives. How? As naturally selfish individuals we constantly strive to be number one. We
want to be seen first. We want our needs met first. We want our “rights” acknowledged first. We want to be the center of the universe. This selfishness can keep us from experiencing God’s Grace and disrupt our everyday lives by creating “friction” in our relationships. If we are not in the flow of God’s grace it cannot flow out of us to others. Our abrasive reactions and attitudes ebb and flow out of pride instead of humility and grace. We need God’s Grace everyday to move us along and keep us from getting stuck in the slide. Grace is like the water in the slide – “If you’re not in the flow, you’re not gonna go.” If you are not in the flow you are not gonna go anywhere spiritually and your witness will be handicapped. When we are in the flow, it lifts us, sustains us, strengthens us and delivers us from our selfishness. It allows us to interact gracefully with others. It allows us to forgive because we have been forgiven. It allows wounds to heal, and hope to grow. It’s a lot easier to navigate the hazards of life and relationships when we humble ourselves and allow grace to carry us along.
It takes a lot of work to “scoot” ourselves along in our own strength. It can be hard to overcome the friction we create with our pride. Maybe we should humble ourselves, rest in His embrace, and be carried by His grace. A water slide works best when there is water flowing through it. Our lives and relationships work best when His grace is flowing through them! This is - Bambi Lake Life!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mick Schatz serves on the staff of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. He is the State Director of Spiritual Enrichment and Retreats and lives at Bambi Lake.