Camping in Grace
I got back from camping yesterday. I was rather anxious about this as I hadn't been camping since I was about 12 and the family we went with could be on Survivor. However, I had an awesome time! In fact, I woke up at 4am distinctly aware that I was not where I was "supposed" to be. I was warm, my back didn't hurt, my hair had no familiar smokiness and it was too quiet. I let the dogs out so I could hear the birds and feel the appropriate chill in the morning air. Have I converted? Only time will tell if I can make it on Survivor someday, but I was taught how to start a fire from just the coals from the previous night's fire and that birch is very important and how to set up my own tent. That has to count for something.
Here's the grace sighting from the trip tho: both the mom and the daughter said something about us (my husband and me) potentially getting tired/annoyed of them. Utter silliness. There was so much joy and compassion and love. Kids were crashing and whomping each other then siblings were genuinely concerned that the child crying was ok and then encouraged the offender to seek forgiveness. The parents spent time teaching, not just about the fire or the woods, but about integrity of self, practicing self control. And they were all more than happy to help, or at least tease, the novice. I watched God at work, not just in His creation of nature, but in His creation of us. How blessed was I!!! Not tired of or annoyed!
It is funny sometimes how God sneaks in at the oddest moments. I took along a notebook to write as I typically do, but I just kept having this sense that I needed to close it, write nothing, and just completely inhale this trip. God didn't want me to look for Him in abstract ways between the blue lines on the pages. He was in front of me-this motley tribe of mountain men and Survivor watchers, and above me-in the multitude of stars that ancients have gazed at, and behind me-in the shadow that followed me everywhere and shared her knowledge with the novice, and below me-in the grass and the water and the forest floor and the knee high babes, surrounding me-with campfire songs old and new and hugs, and in me-in the joy that could only be released in deep belly laughs. As the saying goes. God is good-all the time.