Times change and people grow. This is a fact of life that I am very grateful for. I never imagined that I would return to the ranch, but what really amazes me is that I feel closer to the summer staff this year, even though I have only known them for a week, than I did to the staff of ’07 that I spent an entire summer with.
I think that the big change has been me. I have relaxed and become more relational in my old age, but on top of that, my encounter with Steven and the L-rd’s faithfulness to answer prayer has really changed the way that I relate to the people around me. I am now better equipped to love the summer staff and to receive their love.
In spite of the change in my heart, my week at the ranch was still not without its drama. The problem is women, or more specifically, my incredible attraction to women. G-d has placed a desire in my heart for companion ship, but my attempts to satisfy that desire are always futile.
It was an attempt to satisfy that desire that lead to my drama. The ranch is full of G-dly women, and by the end of my first night at the ranch, one of those women had already caught my eye. Selfishly, I decided to pursue this girl, rather than allowing her to honor her commitment to focus entirely on G-d this summer. It only took a few short days for our brief romance to degenerate into emotional turmoil, as I stole her attention from God and her friends, out of a selfish ambition to satisfy my own loneliness. I don’t know what I would have done if it had not been for the L-rd’s provision.
As I worked with various G-dly men at the ranch, the same theme kept coming up without any prompting from me. Delight yourself in the L-rd and he will give you the desires of your heart. Man after man shared these scriptures with me, until I could no longer deny that this is what the L-rd was speaking to me.
Just as my heart was changing and my desire was shifting toward the L-rd, the woman that I had pursued really began to feel that we were not good for each other and that we were dragging each other away from the L-rd. After an emotional but honest talk, we decided to part ways so that we could once again focus on G-d.