Anglesea Beach

I’ve never gone on two camps, two weekends in a row ever in my life. Before doing this I thought to myself that this would be quite the painful experience, and that it would push the boundaries of my limits for social interaction. Now being on the other side, a week out, I somewhat still feel I am recovering from the social exhaustion, scrambling to pick up what energy I had to continue with university work. Despite the tiredness, it was insightful and fulfilling nonetheless.

The two camps were radically different, having vastly different objectives. The 1st was very much about seeking fun, the 2nd being a Christian Union Conference, in fellowship with other Christians.

I would certainly agree with a previous statement I made a year ago that camps are one of the most cost-effective ways of meeting new people. They provide a precious opportunity to escape from the chains of our weekly routines and current friendship circles, allowing us to experience novelty and build new memories. The days constantly buzzed with social interaction in every direction, and multiple conversational topics occurred throughout the camp, ranging from carrier aspirations, deep theological thoughts on the validity of the Catholic faith, to philosophical insights regarding psychiatry. One of these conversations on the way to the beach struck me.

As we discussed potential careers, the individual opened up about the many career aspirations that they had. With the individual being a current medical student, we both reflected on the alternate universes in which we could use our lives. The person mentioned wanting to do many degrees after medical school, mentioning that they were “a little crazy”. Masters of Public Health, PhD, MBA, or even a law degree, where they had aspirations for being an academic in the future.

Pondering on this now, I really empathise with their aspirations. Especially in our contemporaneous age, there is so much opportunity, but so little time. There is so much one can do and be. However, we are faced with only limited years on this earth. Currently in Australia, a young boy can expect to live to the age of 80.9, and a young girl 85.0 years. In many ways, this speaks to the success of modern health care in which before the 19th century, life expectancy hovered around 30 to 40 years of age. Though our lives are much longer, our most productive years have really much stayed the same, from our 20’s to our 40’s. It really is a finite amount of time.

Hence, with the limited amount of things that we can do, we should try to do the few things we can do well. As Paul mentions in 1st Corinthians:

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV

In life we are given a set of cards – unfortunately, not all hands are dealt equally. Ultimately it is up to us – the player – to realise the potential of these cards by playing them well.