Saturday, October 15, 2022

 Camping: Revisited


I really enjoy camping, always have.  I love the preparation, execution, and the clean up! Who wouldn’t?

Most of my camping trips consist of the following…or some combination thereof.

5:00 a.m. Wake up.

5:05 a.m. Start Coffee.

5:06 a.m. Sit down and wait for coffee to finish.

5:15 a.m. Get up and pour a cup of the finished coffee.

5:16 a.m. Sit back down to drink the coffee…just one cup.

5:17 a.m. Fall asleep in recliner with coffee in hand.

5:45 a.m. Wake up because coffee spilled in your lap.

5:46 a.m. “Hey kids…we are going camping, we need to get everything together and hit the road by 8:00 a.m., get out of bed…let’s go!”

6:00 a.m. Load 5 sleeping bags for 6 people.

6:15 a.m. Put all food into a cooler.

6:30 a.m. Get the tent down from the attic.

6:45 a.m.  Load 5 camping chairs for 6 people.

7:00 a.m. “Hey kids…we are going camping, we need to get everything together and hit the road by 8:00 a.m., get out of bed…let’s go!”

7:15 a.m. Load 5 pillows for 6 people.

7:30 a.m. Set wallet on top of the car so that you don’t forget it.

7:45 a.m. Load everything else into vehicle.

8:00 a.m.  “Hey kids…we are going camping, we need to get everything together and hit the road by 8:00 a.m., get out of bed…let’s go!”

8:05 a.m.  Jump start vehicle because the doors were left open too long while loading and the battery is dead.

8:10 a.m. Sit in car and honk until all others arrive into the vehicle and share words of affection to their loving father and husband.

12:10 p.m. Arrive at campsite only to find that the site is still occupied.

3:00 p.m. Reach for your wallet in your back pocket to pay for the campsite.

3:01 p.m. Empty the entire vehicle looking for lost wallet.

3:02 p.m. Receive a phone call from stranger saying, “Hey I found your wallet on the highway.”

3:03 p.m. Dig through the vehicle, collecting all of the lost coins to pay for the campsite.

3:15 p.m. Spend the next hour trying to remember how to set up the tent.

4:15 p.m. Realize that the tent has been set up incorrectly and start over.

5:15 p.m. Finish setting up the tent…only to realize that you are missing one pole.

5:30 p.m. Fashion a willow branch to substitute for tent pole.

5:35 p.m. Use a rock to hammer in the tent stakes.

5:36 p.m. Bite your tongue because you smashed your finger with rock.

5:45 p.m. Answer your wife’s question about where you put the cooler. “I left it in the kitchen.”

5:46 p.m. Answer your wife’s question about what you are going to eat. “We will have to cook the canned foods I guess.”

5:46 p.m. Answer your wife’s question about where the can opener is. “Ummm…in the kitchen drawer?”

5:46 p.m. Answer your wife’s question about how the can will be open. “A hammer and a screwdriver.”

5:46 p.m. Answer your wife’s question about where the hammer is. “A rock and a screwdriver.”

6:00 p.m. Begin to build a fire…without matches…because you are not willing to admit to anyone that you also forgot to bring matches.

6:15 p.m. Begin to cry as you hands develop blisters from rubbing sticks together.

6:20 p.m. Ask your neighbor campers to let you borrow some matches while still in tears.

6:21 p.m. Listen to them laugh at your ineptness.

7:00 p.m. Finally get fire lit.

7:05 p.m. Sit on the ground and eat lukewarm baked beans, while 5 family members sit in camping chairs.

7:10 p.m. Scramble into tent because of torrential downpour.

7:15 p.m. Inflate air mattress and go to sleep…without a pillow…or a sleeping bag.

3:00 a.m. Wake up to a deflated air mattress

3:05 a.m. Look for leak in air mattress

3:15 a.m. Quit looking, sigh, and sleeplessly lay on your back for the next 3 hours.

6:15 a.m. Ponder about how you are going to get your 46 year old body off of the cold hard ground to start a fire…in the rain…without matches and cook your breakfast of baked beans…without a can opener.

6:16 a.m. Groan

6:17 a.m. Allow the rain water to drip on your face from the leaky tent roof. 

6:18 a.m. Groan some more.

7:00 a.m. Head back home, to your own bed, your own pillow, and your own can opener. 

12:00 p.m. Arrive back home.  Pitch tent…into the trash. Promise yourself that you will never camp again as you conclude that you prefer your permanent dwelling. 

I do enjoy camping, but it doesn’t matter whether it is for one night or one week, I find that I long to get off of the hard ground and back into the comfort of my own bed in my own home.  Paul gives us a similar picture in 2 Cor. 5:1-10.  Here he describes the temporary nature of our tents (human bodies), that we live in and the promise of something better.  God promises a permanent dwelling that we will get to enjoy forever in relationship with Him! Meanwhile we groan, as our bodies ache and age. We yearn to be with Him forever!

May the Lord give us a new perspective as we learn to get our eyes off of what we see and onto that which we cannot see.

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