As some of you may have heard, a few men from ReCAST went camping last weekend. I’ll give you a minute to put two and two together. Yes, “polar vortex” last weekend. Yes, camping, like thin nylon tents and sleeping-bags camping. When sharing about this now annual adventure of ours, I’ve heard responses that usually involve the words “crazy”, “insane”, and “why?”.
It may seem unsound that a bunch of grown men would throw hundreds of pounds of gear and firewood into the back of their trucks (some with four wheel drive and some without, ahem, Andy) and head excitedly into a snow storm for the thrill of cooking outdoors, trying to stay warm and dry, and exploring arctic landscapes for a couple of days. I argue in all seriousness, however, that it’s one of the healthiest and sanest things I do each year. I go out with some like-minded buddies and play. That, simply is my answer to the “why?” question: it just feels really good to play.
As a grown up, I have a wife and family, whom I love like crazy and have a duty to provide for and love and serve. Much of my day is thinking about what I need to do when I get home, which kiddo I need to do homework with and what I can do around the house to help my wife and what I need to do to manage our household, usually involving bills, bank accounts, oil changes and such. This after a day’s work where I think hard to learn, create, and pour into the lives of the great people I serve. All part of God’s blessing on my life and all things that can build up into a tiredness that is only remedied by rest.
Where do you find rest? When’s the last time you treated yourself to some? Maybe it’s a nap or maybe its a adventurous Sabbath, like I enjoy. I find rest and rejuvenating awe for my Creator on a 60 foot snow covered sand dune in 40 mile an hour winds at 10 o’clock at night. I find it around a fire watching a black-sooted percolator make my much loved coffee or in a sleeping bag, alone, listening to the wind rustle giant snowflakes on my tent fly. I find it listening to other guys talk about their families, and jobs, and high school shenanigans over a steaming bowl of soup in the “mess hall”. I find it in debates about what heaven will feel like and whether or not we’ll be able to play basketball against Jesus or get to have real jobs.
So, yes, it is a little crazy, a touch dangerous at times even, to do something like snow camping in a blizzard, but it’s all worth it. It’s a good thing for grown men to remember how to play and I’m thankful that I’m rich enough in terms of family, friends, gear and money, to be able to afford such a luxury. So, for now it’s back to work, but I’m already looking forward to next year.