Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Camping Inspiration

The weather here in the great Pacific Northwest has been rather warm lately. So my family and I took off for a weekend of camping. Call me crazy ("your're crazy!"), call me strange ("you're strange!"), but when I go camping, I like to take stuff to study. Oh sure, I also take stuff for pure entertainment ( a favorite novel or CD) and I do "woodsy" kinds of things (great trails around the campgrounds). But I love to study in the forest! No television. No phones (believe it or not, I do not own a cell phone). Very few distractions apart from the occaisional mosquito. I can spend an entire hour in uninterrupted concentration on systematic theology, history, or whatever interests me at the moment.
My kids don't understand my joy of studying while camping, but that's okay. They still equate "study" with "school work", something they wish to blissfully repress for another 26 days, 8 hours, 12 minutes, and 45 seconds. Me? I love to learn. I am still patiently waiting and working toward the financial opportunity and time to complete my graduate studies with the ultimate goal of earning a doctorate. In the meantime, I am engaged in self-study for enrichment, ministry, and pure joy.
I spent a little more time on this camping trip in prayer for inspiration, and motivation regarding the ministries in which I am involved. Wow! Talk about clarity of thought. I almost filled a yellow legal pad (which I now buy in bulk!) with ideas for a new handbook, volunteer placement, and involving older kids in service. Much of this was stuff that was swirling around in my head, but it wasn't until I could study, read, focus, and pray without civilization encroaching upon me that the thoughts crystalized and finally got down on paper. I almost couldn't wait to get home to type it all up and show it to my children's ministries secretary (who would probably be stunned to see how organized I really am!).
Well, I am now back in civilization with all its challenges. I'm still typing. I'll let you know the outcome of these "deep thoughts", brought on courtesy of camping!

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