A Place to Stand

Dan Davis July 17, 2017

Give me a lever and a place to stand and I will move the world. —Archimedes

“Archimedes (c. 287–c. 212 BC), a Greek philosopher and mathematician, noticed that if a lever was balanced in the correct place, on the correct fulcrum, it could move proportionally much greater weight than the force applied. Archimedes imagined a fixed point, the fulcrum, in space. If the Earth rested on the short end of a lever, close to the fulcrum, and Archimedes was pulling down on the other extremely long end of the lever, then theoretically his small weight would be multiplied enough to move the world.”

The fixed point is our place to stand. The above is an excerpt from a devotional I read last week. It reminded me that one of our hopes at Rockmont is to give each young man a place to stand. With sure footing, he can move the world – starting with his family, friends, school, and then the larger community. We strive to see the goodness in every camper and bless them so that they can pass on the blessing.

I saw several sure-footed young men passing on blessings last week. Hunter, a Catalyst, was watching a sunset at Carver’s Gap on the Appalachian Trail. We stood at 5800 feet. After a late afternoon rain storm, I sent the guys down the mountain but Hunter stayed. I waited and waited but Hunter was unmovable. When Hunter finally spoke, he said, “How could anyone walk away from something so beautiful.” He had found a place to stand in the beauty of God’s natural world. Once you experience that beauty, you start to see it everywhere. This reminds me of a Mary Oliver poem I love:

Instructions for Living a Life:
Pay attention
Be astonished
Tell about it.

I was helping out recently with Mountain Camp laundry when two campers, Owen and Finley, came looking for their laundry. Their first words were, “Do you need help?” We spent the next hour folding clothes together. Several dozen socks, underwear, and T-Shirts later we knew each other’s stories better. Owen and Finley found a place to stand in their generosity.

Early this morning, two Deer campers – Will and Sam – walked alongside a homesick camper that they were bringing to speak with me. We encouraged the young camper, and Will and Sam shared their own stories of moving through homesickness. I asked the young men if they knew this camper and they replied, “No, we saw that he was upset and we went to help.” Wow! Will and Sam found a place to stand in their compassion. They took action.

Tonight, I find a place to stand in my gratitude for the lives of these young men and their wonder, generosity, and compassion. These are three of the countless stories of campers standing on new ground. Ziplines, friendship, mentors, hikes, and nights in the woods are each invitations to find their sure footing. Thank you, parents, for your partnership and encouragement. Without it, we would be unable to accomplish this work. You’ve given us all a place to stand.


Dan Davis

Tonight’s Scripture: Matthew 9:20-30a
Story: Jesus Heals Many People Who Believe
+ Where do you see yourself in the story?
+ What’s the good news?

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