|Sassafras and SoccerAce with best friends
during one of our many camping trips.
Ever been camping? Really camping? I mean ever spent a few nights near a campfire, slept in a tent, and passed several days cooking and playing outdoors. Some of you more uptown girls might be asking, “I stayed in an RV once; does that count?” Nope, too many of the amenties of home; it’s too easy. Well, if you haven’t been camping, I want to fill you in on all the necessities for a successful camping trip. Camping success begins in the packing. Take a moment and click on the link that follows for a quick view into “packing” for an adventuresome camping trip: http://www.lovetheoutdoors.com/printer-friendly-checklist.htm (Don’t skip this part, it’s important.)
I’ve learned a secret however to cope with the items that fail to get packed. Go camping in groups. That’s right, every camping trip I’ve been on, I’ve managed to invite my own versions of Macgyver and Bear Grylles. Therefore, even if I don’t have something on the “list,” Macgyver will. And if Mr. Grylles is present, he and Macgyver together can build a fire with only a Q-Tip and a mirror. It’s true.
Now I want you to take a second look and notice what is not on the list. Yep, that’s right visit the list website again! Did you see a section labeled “Furniture”? Or maybe one labeled “Tent Decor”? Probably not, because that would be stupid. I mean who needs matching curtains or sconces perched precariously on the walls (if you can call them that) of a tent. Why lug a loveseat to adorn the 5 by 12 canvased contraption that could blow over if the wind gets a little too strong? All of this might seem absurd, but we do it all the time in real life.
2 Corinthians 5:1a says, “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.” Notice that our lives now are referred to as earthly tents. What we are here on earth is merely a tent! Let that sink in for a second. If our lives, our bodies, here on terra firma are merely tents, then why are we investing so much time, money, and energy into furnishing and decorating it? I’m not speaking merely of make-up and fashion here; I’m talking of “getting ahead in life” or “having it all” or “keeping up with the Joneses.” Why do we feel the need to decorate a flimsy tent with such items? It is pointless. In The Message version, the same verse reads like this, “for we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away…” Our lives will be folded away; put in storage to mold and mildew. No one else can take it out and reuse it. All those furnishings we focus on like successful careers, elegantly decorated homes, fancy cars, gaining popularity, being in charge, and whatever else we deem important are merely furnishings in a home that cannot last. This concept definitely reminds me of King Solomon’s wise words, “Vanity, all is vanity.”
Maybe it’s time for a garage sale of sorts. Time to clean out that tent and furnish it with only the necessities. Sale the “getting ahead in life” and replace it with “giving away your life.” Or maybe let someone else “have it all” while you “share all you have.” If we are merely camping here on earth and our permenant residence is in heaven, it’s time to make a checklist that includes only eternal items. Now that’s a short list of necessities.