"It's about negative ten degrees out," I say, watching my breath float away in the breeze. "And I forgot to pack a sweatshirt."
"I didn't pack one either," Tim says, "I feel fine. Aren't you from Wisconsin originally?"
"Yes, but... ugh I'm going to run to Wal-Mart and get one. I can't imagine spending all night in a tent without a sweatshirt."
"Hmmm," Tim says, "Yeah I'll come too. Just so you aren't lonely. Not because I'm cold at all."
"Thanks Reid for suggesting tent camping at this retreat!" I say.
"Welcome!" he grins, "but you can blame Tim. He's like some kind of magician of extreme cold weather and you can expect either snow or some random hurricane to appear."
Tim shrugs, "It's true."
"So..... do you think my Harley will fit in the tent with us?" Reid asks.
"I'm thinking no," Tim says.
"It's already going to be a tight squeeze with three of us," I say.
"Darn," Reid says, "So when are you buying a motorcycle so you can come to South Dakota with us next summer?"
"You're going! Or I'm going to call your dad , Jacob!"
"Jacob?" I ask. "Ohhh... it's a joke. Because he thinks your name is Stu?"
"Yes, totally joking!" Reid says, "but remind me of his name again?"
I laugh, "I've been motorcycling through South Dakota twice and once by car. Maybe I'll just meet you there."
"Yeah," Tim says, "I think I'll go by airplane."
"Sturgis is the dream," Reid whispers under his breath. "It's the dream!"
"Hey guys!" Darren says running up with a bag of leafy seaweed chips. "Do you guys want any? They taste like old gym shoes. Very good! And uh, where am I sleeping?"
"Darren? We didn't even know you were coming," Tim says.
"Yeah, and I kind of forgot a sleeping bag," Darren says. "Oh look there's a spot in the tent for me if I curl up against the side of that tent pole."
This weekend I went to a men's conference about leaving your legacy in this world. I thought the speaker was great and for me specifically I felt God telling me some things I need to continue to routinely do and establish in our home. Being a strong leader and visibly loving God is the only way to show Rory the way. The do what I say, not as I do method has never worked for anyone ever. Who wants a hypocrite for a dad? I also want him to see a family system that not only works but is overflowing with love, joy and of course Parcheesi game nights!
Will it be easy? Probably not. Once you make those promises to God and then step back into the real world, those things can slip away as if they were mere memories from a dream. I don't want to forget the way I feel right now. I don't want the passion to know God more to go away and I want Rory to have that same passion. I know I come up short and can never be the perfect role model, but there are things I can change and do better and that's what I have to do! It's mandatory! Maybe writing it here will help me to remember and sometime soon you can ask me if I'm still on track.
On a similar side note, the guys who led the worship service were a father and son, and I thought it was really cool to see both men strumming their guitars in perfect harmony praising God and I kind of had a flash forward moment. I can picture Rory and I someday playing guitars together and singing out in worship. (I don't know if it will be in perfect harmony since I really have no rhythm, and he might get his mother's singing voice, but I can imagine it being amazing.)
As I sit at my desk now with a bruised rib, the memory of making it to the top of the 30 foot rock wall, and those amazing feelings I had at the camp seem to float into the back of my mind I know I need to keep them in the forefront. Rory's so young. He's a fresh canvas and we have so much time ahead of us to teach him everything that he needs to know about God and life. A wise man told me to not get complacent because the time will disappear right before my eyes. I have to do what I have to do and not screw it up! I have the great responsibility now to make sure Rory grows up right, and dag-nabbit I'm going to do it.
Comic By Bitstrips