Thursday, August 07, 2014

How family car camping is like the spiritual life

  1. Gratitude becomes key: gratitude for dry weather, warmth, fire, food, shelter, insect repellent.
  2. Lacking gratitude, you begin to grumble like the Israelites wandering through the desert for 40 years.  Sure, you helped us cross the Red Sea and escape violent death, but I just got scratched by a briar bush and where are you NOW, God??? 
  3. A convenience store, or fast food, could become your idol.  Resist.  If need be, chant: S'mores are my manna.
  4. You may be called to be prophetic, or at least alone and away from the griping mob, and leave your kids back in the cloud at the foot of the hiking hill, while you approach the summit of the crag alone.
  5. You may bring back rules for the young ones: "I am the Lord your God and you shall love camping with all your heart, mind, and soul.  Thou shalt not run around the fire ring.  Thou shalt not wear muddy shoes in the tent. Thou shalt not tell me you hear birds chirping loudly at 4am."  and so on.  This will teach them respect, and counteract anything they learned in The Prince of Egypt.
  6. You may see the promised land--a restaurant--in the distance, from the top of the hill.  It is not for you.  God wills you to eat hot dogs for a time yet.
  7. Choosing a campsite near a confessional is wise and prudent.  On the up side, multiple penances are near at hand.
  8. When you are just about to lose it with your kids, spouse, broken tent zipper, and damp fire logs, God sends you a chipmunk to watch.  Now it's all better.
  9. Rely on the Holy Spirit, always.  Having said that, it's good to be prepared for anything.  Bring matches.  (not that I'd know, cough)
  10. Spiritual warfare, thy name is biting flies.

BONUS.  The Body of Christ camps! But we have different vocations and gifts.  To wit:

Primitive site campers: Franciscans
Cart in site campers: Trappists
Drive in site tent campers: Benedictines
Drive in site tent campers within 100 feet of the bathrooms: families with small children
Drive in site with pop up campers: third order somethings
Drive in site with motorhome campers: probably Protestants
Group center camping: Megachurch for sure
Calling staying at a hotel "camping": related to Joel Osteen

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