As of the writing of this post, I am typing this blog on my laptop, flashlight tucked under my chin, a battery operated lantern hanging from the top of the tent and yes, I am in a tent. I am camping. For a better sense of the word. I’m in a tent at a camp site. Yes, it is a KOA but it is still a campsite. I haven’t gone camping in years and so this is a good way to get my feet wet again.
It’s been an interesting adventure this last week or so. Driving from South Dakota, with a detour through the Bad Lands and also, more importantly, a stop at Wall Drug, we made our way to California. From southern California to northern California and then the long trek east to go camping near Yellowstone.
And the whole time my wife and I have had my two year-old daughter and 5 year-old son in tow. That is where the grace and mercy request comes in. As I read Tom’s post on grace while I was on the road (thank you iPhone) I pondered the need for giving grace to ourselves and also to our loved ones.
There’s something about being stuck in a car for hours on end, grabbing bits of sleep here and there, spending some time sleeping at rest stops, in hotels and on floors of family members that makes you appreciate having grace towards others and giving mercy where needed.
It was early Saturday morning, I had pushed through the night, driving straight through Colorado (I had every reason not to be stuck there AGAIN). The very first rest stop in Utah I stopped… at 4am. Very tired and sleepy, with everyone else in the car zonked out on whatever surface they could rest their heads, I parked, leaned my seat back and tried to sleep. My daughter woke me up an hour later. In my fatherly wisdom, I took her outside to walk around and burn off some energy. In the rest stop there were large hills with trails to walk, so my daughter and I walked up one. And beheld an amazing gift of beauty. This was worth it.
We climbed down the hill and then up to the next. Again, pure beauty. My daughter, filled with energy, was jumping up and down and running around and took a spill. Did a total faceplant on the ground. Cut her lip. Was crying and upset. I took her down, cleaned her up and she looked at me through her tears and said “I wanna go up the mountain again.”
Ahhh.. grace. Love. And the mercy given to my by a small child.
We have a week to go on our vacation and road trip. And a week to go to experience more traveling mercies and grace.