We took the kids camping this past weekend…for one night only. We took the kids camping last Labor Day weekend as well…also, for one night only…you would have thought that we would have learned our lesson. Camping is exhausting!
Here is how our camping works. We spend 63 minutes loading up the van and trailer. We take the 18 gallon plastic tote down from the high dusty shelf in the garage, and throw it into the trailer, hoping that everything we need is still inside. We grab some matches…an ax…bug spray…(if we remember it)…the tent, and sleeping bags. We pull out of the driveway, certain that we have forgotten something…usually we are right. This year is no different…fortunately Sam Walton created a store for just such circumstances. We purchase the bug spray inside.
We arrive at the campsite and immediately start setting up camp. Camp set up consists of me working on the tent…Sarah organizing the bedding…and the children opening all doors to the van in hopes of gathering as many mosquitoes as possible, and keeping the interior van lights lit to add to the adventure and the wonder…will the van start tomorrow? Last year, we needed a jump start.
When I have the tent ready and Sarah has the bedding set, we begin working on the fire…while the kids dig into the cooler for some pop to drink and spit sunflower seeds all over the picnic table…first rules of survival…shelter…fire…pop and sunflower seeds.
With the fire going, we dig into the hot dogs and beans…roasting them over the fire. Immediately following, we turn to the marshmallows…we make our s’mores and start a pot for coffee…just in time… for the rain to come.
Quickly, we pack the chairs, food and wood into the van, so as not to get wet and head into the tent that “sleeps five comfortably.” With the six of us packed into the tent, we decide to play cards. This forces (about) 40 year olds to sit, in ways that, not only were, (about) 40 year olds not intended to sit, but also in positions that (about) 40 year olds cannot get out of. We soon discover that our tent is, apparently, not water proof…that’s disappointing…and my coffee still sits over the fire…also disappointing.
Two and a half hours later, the rain appears to have let up, and I have got to get out of the wet tent and out of my “one legged pigeon pose.” We rekindle the fire…and we enjoy a nice mosquito swatting percussion symphony. Finally, we head to our damp bedding, only to wake up with pruned fingers and soggy socks.
Now we get to pack up…head home…and dry everything out on the line…yell at the children for not helping…all the while, dog tired from not sleeping well in restful bliss of “nature.”
And truth be told…we will probably do it again next year…because somewhere along the line, I have become blind to the work that camping involves, and instead, cling to the enjoyable memories like whining children on a nature hike…crying girls who tripped over the stump…sharing our deepest darkest secrets in a rain soaked tent and family time around the campfire.
Voluntary blindness is interesting. I think of birthing babies…not that I have ever done it…but I’ve heard it is “challenging.” I have watched the pain that my wife has endured during the childbirth process and I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy…yet, I think mothers become blind to the pain, when they choose to have another child.
In a similar, but rather different, sort of way…I think we live, relatively, blind lives. I think we are blind to many of the things that we do in our lives that are wrong. In other words…I think we are frequently blind to our own sin….and even when perhaps we finally realize some of the sin in our lives…we continue to either diminish the same sin or, not even acknowledge that there could be more sin…other sins…in our lives.
In John 9:8-41, Jesus heals a man who is physically blind…and then uses this event to point out how the religious leaders were spiritually blind…what a contrast! I believe, wholeheartedly, that Jesus wants to heal us from our spiritual blindness. In fact, I believe, that when we can admit to our own spiritual blindness…we will find ourselves yearning for spiritual sight…a spiritual light that can only come from the light of the world…who shines in our darkness…revealing our blindness…revealing a Truth that only Jesus can provide.