Food for the Journey

canoeingI survived another overnight canoe retreat with my kids.  Mind you, I enjoy these outings; both because they give me an opportunity to spend quality time – and quantity time – with my boys and because I also, by nature of the father/son character of the group, get to visit with men of stellar character who, like me, are attempting to raise their families to appreciate the importance of faith in a world that has by and large decided to do without.  People ask me if I’m ready to go back and I answer with an emphatic: “well, I guess so.”

Asking so soon whether I’m ready to brave such an adventure again is akin to asking a woman who has just spent 18 hours in hard labor – including 30 minutes of painful pushing – to give birth to the beautiful baby she’s holding in her arms whether she’s “ready for another one.” I mean, eating stale MREs (meals ready to eat), sleeping on rocky beaches (bad back and all) and picking off ticks two days after the return home may not be nearly as traumatic as giving birth, but it’s still too close to the drama for me to think of such a thing.  Like a new mom, however, given enough time, I’m sure only the warm memories will shine through and I’ll be back in the saddle, or uncomfortable canoe seat, again.

Having been on this particular journey so many times, you might think I’ve gotten all the kinks worked out and that I’m a veritable pro at tent camping/canoeing. Well, you would be wrong.  I don’t know if it’s laziness, poor memory or inattention, but for some reason I never seem to be fully prepared for the journey.

It’s a similar story when discussing that final “journey” we must all take.  Those without faith don’t have to think about it.  Sometimes, those of us with faith aren’t much better.

In the end, I’m glad I’ve got godly men – and a loving wife – to challenge me along the way.  They will no doubt help me “pack” what I really need.  Who knows, when the time comes, I may be better prepared than I give myself credit for.  Heck, I sometimes even look forward to it.  Well…kind of.

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