June 17, 2005

Camping Trip Cancelled

The camping trip is cancelled. Tonight Ethan and I were supposed to attend our first cub scout overnight camping trip, but due to the freakish cold weather and rain we're having, it's been cancelled. The family who owns the property where we were going to camp is concerned about too much mud.

I found this out this morning at Vacation Bible School. When I was told, a voice inside my head went, Yessss! Don't get me wrong. I think a camping trip is a great idea and would be great fun, but just not tonight. For the past few days, I've been worrying about the sermon I've yet to write, the Sunday worship I've yet to plan or the meeting at the regional office I have on Monday that I've yet to prepare for, all due to the fact that V.B.S. has taken up so much of my time. (Another meeting, scheduled for Saturday, I'm skipping.) Then there's the late night I had last night; I took fifteen youth to "Christian Bowling Nite," and didn't get home until after midnight. One can see why, this time, I was not disappointed to learn that the camping trip had been cancelled.

I thought to myself, ah, maybe I can rest. I thought to myself, ahhh, maybe I can get some work done. I thought to myself, ahhhhh!, maybe I can get a babysitter and my wife and I can go out on a date. Vacation Bible School has been just as tiring for her as it has been for me, and we've both been a little stressed due to the responsibilities we had this week, and a night out is just what we need. But alas, when I tell her the good news, that there is no camping trip tonight, she says, rather matter-of-factly, "Oh, good. You can stay home with the boys, and I can have a 'girls night out.'"

I'm disappointed for me. I let my wife know that I was disappointed. That, I do well, especially when I'm tired and worn out. It's even hard for me to write these words now without the entire post turning into a "vent." And yet, in quiet moments, when I'm by myself, I am able to catch a glimpse of things from her perspective. I realize that there's an awful lot of testosterone floating around our house these days, and I can only imagine what that's like for her, the sole female in a world of machismo.

Today at Vacation Bible School, we re-enacted the story of Paul and Silas in prison. Despite the fact that they were beaten and thrown into the darkest, innermost prison cell (a place, I told the kids, that smelled of dirty diapers, where rats and bugs crawled across damp, slimy floors), they still managed to remain hopeful, and even sang songs of praise. The story seems so simple the way we tell it to children, but when I think about how incredible it is that they could sing even while in prison, I realize that there's nothing simple about a faith like that. It is faith at the deepest level, and is achieved only through a combination of God's grace and a tremendous amount of spiritual discipline and practice.

I long for the discipline and the practice that can keep me hopeful for the future God has in store (instead of worrying the night away). I long for the discipline and practice that can help me see things from my wife's perspective (instead of just my own). I long for the discipline and practice that can help me to not complain when things don't turn out the way I want (instead of wanting to yell and complain and throw things). When I realize just how hard this is to achieve sometimes, Paul and Silas speak to me, and I listen, because I have much to learn.

3 comments:

PPB said...

sorry things didn't work out perfectly.....bummer.

the reverend mommy said...

Yeah, continue to press for that date night. It is a good thing -- take care of family by taking care of the parents, first. Both individually and an unit.

Danny said...

Hey, we finally got our date night tonight (Wednesday). Yeah!