Sky Ranch News

Your Purpose is Today – Patrick Gardner

by Mackenzie Shaver on December 9, 2015


Three months down and ten to go! It is crazy to think how fast The Fellowship has already gone by! My name is Patrick Gardner and I graduated from The University of Central Florida with a degree in Accounting. Right out of college, I found a contract job at a big Oil Pipeline company. My first Career job! It was amazing; great benefits, working in my field, great pay, everything a young professional could want. I had finally found my purpose in life. Four months later I got a call telling me that I was no longer employed at NuStar Energy. In an instant it was all taken away. I packed up my bags and headed back home to Mom and Dad wondering what was going to be my purpose in life.


I have always hated looking to the future trying to guess all the possibilities that could become of my life. Now as an adult, I dwell on it. When will I find someone that I love? When will we get married? How many children will we have together? Where will we live? I’m almost 25 and still do not have a career job?!? This is my brain every morning, and if you change the questions a little, I bet these are some of the questions that zoom through your mind as well. We as humans long for a final purpose in life. We want to arrive, and in doing so miss the journey.


When I lost my job and returned home to live with my parents, I thought back to a summer in college where I was a camp counselor at a camp called SpringHill Michigan. If any of you Sky Ranchers know Lane Gramling (Legacy 9 Fellow) and Danny Loudermilk (OE Instructor), I actually worked with them that summer. I saw an accounting position open at Sky Ranch and started to fill out the application for the position, but during my research I saw a picture of Lane in the Fellowship, began asking him questions, and actually applied for a position in the Fellowship.


Now here I am, this is my job, my life for the next 10 months, and yet I’m already dwelling on what life is going to bring when the Fellowship is over. Why do we as humans do that? If we are not dwelling on the future we are dwelling on the past. Satan loves when we dwell on the past and the future because we have no control over either of these. If we are not living in the present and finding our purpose for this very day we might miss what God is calling us to do for the day.


After a dreary overcast day of doing Outdoor Education I plopped on my bed and wondered if what I taught the children that day had any purpose on their life, or did everything I say go in one ear and out the other. As I am thinking my mom called and proceeded to tell me she had talked to a man who went to Sky Ranch on a field trip in 5th grade and had a blast. I almost had tears running down my face. Here I am wondering if what I’m doing here is affecting children’s lives at all, and here is this story about a man that lives across the country who went to Sky Ranch as a child and remembered how much fun he had when he was there!


That is what God is teaching me right now in the Fellowship. Sometimes it is hard to find a purpose in the day to day activities of a job. Why am I picking up trash around the paintball shed? To take care of camp, making people want to return and have another chance at experiencing God at Sky Ranch. Yes, but why am I teaching these children about rocks and the geology cycle? To help them have fun while learning, and then they will go tell their parents to sign them up for Summer Camp for a chance to learn more about God.


This applies to everyone! Whether it is shoveling horse manure at the Livery or scrubbing the side of the waterslide pool, God has a purpose for your life- not just in the future, but right now. Without each of Sky Ranch employee doing their well, camp cannot run smoothly, people stop coming back, and they lose a chance to experience God in a way they may have never before.


Everyday wake up and thank God for another day. Throughout the day remember to not dwell on the things we cannot change, like the past or the future, but instead focus on the child in front of you who is waiting to be taught about American Indians, or focus on the stack of reports that need to be turned in on Friday, and remember that in all of these things God is in control. Today has a purpose, find yours.

 “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21

Posted in Homepage Featured, Legacy Fellows, by Mackenzie Shaver

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