I’m blogging from my iPhone, in the dark, in my Big Agnes Wolf Mountain 6 person tent with sleeping wife and three half snoring kiddos by my side. Our tent is expertly pitched on site 224 in Brimley State Park campground with Lake Superior waves quietly falling to shore 40 yards north of where I lay. Yes, it’s ideal.
I’m blessed to be provided opportunities like this to get away and spend time with my family. Pastoral ministry is sometimes grueling, just like a hike in the woods or a long bike ride is grueling. I love every minute of it but that doesn’t mean it’s easy or that I don’t wake up the next morning with a whole lot of sore. Loving people is one of the great challenges of life and requires sacrifice if we are doing it right. Jesus told us that then demonstrated it by his example, but he also showed the disciples the importance of getting away for some R&R. Often that included hiking up some mountain in a remote wilderness (Jesus is my kind of Savior in more ways than one). Thankfully, I’m not famous like he was and didn’t have several thousand people race me over the Mackinaw Bridge in order to beg me to heal them. It’s just my family and the Coons (as in our good friends from Miracle Camp, not the animals), and so our wilderness get-away has been truly restful so far.
A perfect illustration of this restorative process was this afternoon. We finished our taco lunch and I did the dishes while the kids played in the water. Then I took on our tent, totally emptying it of sleeping gear and sand. Then I arranged chairs and bicycles and shoes. I love to serve my family like that while camping, but by the time I was done I was pretty sweaty and grungy due to the 80 degree heat. So I threw on my suit and went for a swim in the very refreshing, very clear water of Lake Superior. It was shocking, rejuvenating, and delightful. I came back to camp feeling good and ready to spend more time loving my family (which at that point in time meant reading in the shade until our naked three year old woke up from her nap on the floor of our minivan). And that’s what I hope this whole vacation is like: a refreshing swim away from the work routine that helps me get ready for the action ahead.
And there’s much action to be done! We have a busy Fall planned at ReCAST and I’m excited to get after it, helping people grow in Faith, Community and Service. Right after a few more dips in Lake Superior!