Karyn Goes to Camp

 by Phyllis Miller

University of Arkansas Lady Razorback basketball player Karyn Karlin arrived last summer at Missouri?s Kamp Kanakuk in almost as bad a shape as the minority kids from the tough inner-city streets that she was hoping to help.

Karlin, trying to deal with the breakup of a longtime romance, realized very quickly that she wasn?t in the right frame of mind. At the end of the first week of 16-hour-a-day work schedules, defiant kids, and very little sleep, the 1997 SEC Freshman of the Year and 1999 AIM Female Athlete of the Year knew her situation was a lot more than she could handle on her own.

"I was emotionally distraught," she says, "and I felt I had reached the end of myself. I had nothing left to give, and I told the Lord I couldn?t deal with all of this at once. I needed His help, and He simply took over."

Within the next 24 hours, Karlin witnessed nothing less than a miracle. Her roommate helped her to overcome the pain of the failed romance. A flood of Scripture passages put her focus on God, and for the moment at least, took her mind off the difficult youngsters who were trying hard to cover their own emotional wounds through bad behavior.

"Everything suddenly became so very clear to me. God showed me that we are called to love not just those who are easy to love but, more important, those who are hard to love. This was the first time I had ever truly experienced the awesome power of God?s strength."

What followed was an ability to give unselfishly to those kids in her charge, forever changing their lives. Karlin also learned a lesson that was destined to change her own life forever.

"Using 10 percent of God?s energy," she says, "is far more powerful than using 100 percent of my own."

Taken from Sports Spectrum, a Christian sports magazine. Used by permission. For subscription information call 1-800-283-8333.