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Sat, Jan 17 2009 - 06:50 AM

Gone Camping

Have you ever been camping?  Like real, tent camping.   My husband and I used to go camping a lot and we've done it a few times with the kids too. 

You pack up all of this "stuff" that you might need because you won't be at home.  Cooking utensils, groceries, charcoal, grill, laterns, sleeping bags, insect repellent, fire wood, first aid kit, extra clothes, towels, soap, shampoo, the list goes on.... and, of course, you bring the tent. 

I've been camping in various conditions.  I've camped when it rained so hard and for so long that our sleeping bags got wet on the inside because the water seeped through the bottom on the tent.  

I've been camping when it was so cold outside that I my body ached from the pain of it.  When that happens you wrap up tight in your sleeping bag with just your nose out! 

I've camped where we killed 3 poisonous snakes within 2 hours and needless to say, i didn't sleep real well that night for fear one would somehow get into the tent.

I've camped where bears are nortorious for breaking into your campsites if you aren't really careful with your food, crumbs and all.  Not a peaceful nights sleep.

I've camped when it was so hot that we drove miles to find a hardware store to buy a fan to put in the tent just so we could bear it. 

Some of you may be say, then why in the world go camping?  While I may have made it sound awful, most of the time camping is fun.  You get to hike, tell stories around the camp fire, roast marshmallows, enjoy gorgeous scenery, breath in the fresh air and just relax/play--forget about the real world for a little while. 

But even at its best, camping is only fun for a few days and then you really want to go home!  It isn't the same as being home.  YOu don't have all the comforts, the securities, the protection.  Things aren't familiar.  You can't climb in your comfortable bed and set the thermostat to your preferred temperature.  You can't control the bugs or the lighting and you are limited as to what you can cook and eat. 

So, all in all, camping can bring you a lot of fun and good times, but it can also throw you some curves and really make you miss home.  And again, even at its best, it just isn't home. 

I'm sure most of you already know where I am going with this.  Life is like a big 'ole camping trip!  We aren't Home.  We are just out in the wild with the bear necessities.  The Bible says that even our bodies are merely "tents".

I am one of those people who want everyone to be "happy, healthy, wealthy".  I get a little sad and don't understand why bad things have to happen.  I wonder what we can do to prevent them.  I get stressed out about money, work, family.  Sometimes I don't feel safe.  If I really start thinking about things going on in this world, this country, my hometown or even within my own family, I shake my head and think, why? 

Lately, God has been reminding me that this isn't Home.  It isn't supposed to be comfortable all the time.   Whenever I feel sad, anxious, fearful, confused or restless, I am really missing my true Home. 

I am camping.  It is fun most of the time.  I love my life.  I love my family.  I love the adventures.  I love seeing God's creation in nature.  I love people.  I love food.  I love worship.  I love music.  I love to write.  And, of course, I have so many things I want to do here.

But it is like camping.  Oh, our tents are pretty nice and we have a lot of luxuries like stoves, refridgerators, tvs etc.  But our homes and luxuries are NOTHING compared to the beauty and majesty of our castles in Heaven.  Here on earth, we are not always camping in the best conditions but at our real home conditions are always perfect!  And even though we don't consciously remember Heaven, deep down in our inner souls, we miss it.

The key is that God sent us on this little camping trip for a reason.  He gifted us each with special skills, talents and passions to survive and help others on our little trip.  He knows if we love Him even in the not so great conditions of our camping trip, that we REALLY LOVE HIM.  He wants us to enjoy our camping trip of life.  He created us especially for our personal trips. 

He LOVES being able to see things through our eyes.   When we see a beautiful sunrise or sunset or a gorgeous flower or even a newborn child, God loves to see and feel our take on His creation.  He created it, but He likes to see our take on it.  It makes Him happy.  The Bible says that God takes great delight in His children. 

I don't think it is much different than most human parents/grandparents.  You love seeing your child do things for the first time.  You love to watch their eyes open wide and hear their gasps of excitement when they see something for the first time.   You heart leaps for joy when they express their love to you.  You love to hear their giggles and they run and play--no worries.  You even love to see them make a face when they taste a food that they don't really like.

God is the same way.  He loves seeing us experience His creation.  He loves to watch us dance and play and especially worship.  He loves to see our smiles and feel the warmth in our hearts.  He loves in when we "figure things out" for the first time.  He enjoys it when we pray and converse with Him.  He glows when we express our love for Him even when the "camping trip" gets tough.  He likes to watch us interact with others.   I think it is hard for Him to hold back from helping us too much when we mess things up.  So, like a good parent, He lets us fall down sometimes but He helps us up.  

He is with us on this "camping trip" of life--through the good and the bad.  He knows what is like because He camped here too once--for a very long 33 years.  And, He definitely didn't always have the best camping conditions. 

As a Father, He can watch us on our very temporary trip--remember our lives are but a vapor when put into perspective of Eternity-- and know that we'll be okay because we'll be coming home soon. 

In the meantime, there is much for us to experience on this little camping trip.  There is much for us to do with daily adventures, varying conditions, lots to see and some pain and suffering.  But we get to go home soon (in terms of Eternity.)  So, we know that we can make it through the trip with Jesus as our very experienced, very loving and all-powerful Guide. 


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Name: worknmom

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About: I am a married, working mother with 2 children a daughter age 17 and a son age 14. I have a passion for writing and feel led to work with pre-teen girls. I blog mostly about my spiritual journey as I seek God's perfect will for my life.

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