I hear there’s such a thing as a “stay-cation,” which allows you to sleep in your own home while visiting local sites of interest. That sounds like a good plan to me. We do have a lot of interesting things to see right here in Minnesota, like flour mills, fur trading camps, lakes and rivers galore and the Mall of America. Somehow those places don’t hold the allure they once did. In fact, our vacations always included some adventurous place which would take us as far away from home as possible without breaking the bank.
When you get into your golden years, a vacation sounds more like work, so we opt for watching the travel channel for our journeys. I can’t help recalling some of the family trips we took when our children were growing up. There was their first camping excursion with our first two kids. The tent was set up. We roasted marshmallows on the open fire, hiked, looked for signs of wild animals and explored the beauty of nature. When it was time to go to sleep the kids were so tired their eyes closed instantly. In the meantime, we enjoyed the fire for a little longer and then went off to our sleeping bags.
It might be important to note that I am a city girl. I’d never gone camping before. My husband, on the other hand, is a great adventurer and even though he was brought up in the city, he knew everything about the outdoors. It wasn’t long before rain began to fall gently upon our little tent. Within seconds torrents ripped through the campsite and the wind had fiercely tossed our tent about – with us in it.
My husband immediately outside the tent trying to secure it to a tree so we wouldn’t be gone with the wind. Did I mention he was clothed only in his underwear. I stayed inside and tried to help keep the tent upright by pushing on the walls. Not a good idea. Water began to drip down my arms and into my armpits. This was not the first or last time, but my life passed quickly before my eyes as I pictured myself and my family being swept into oblivion. An abundance of prayers were said by both of us as the storm raged around us.
The children slept through the entire event. We, on the other hand were soaking wet and completely exhausted. The next day as we spent the morning at the Laundromat drying our clothes and sleeping bags, we heard that a tornado had touched down in our campground the night before. And there we were in the midst of it.
Since that vacation, I much prefer staying at a Holiday Inn, but it did prove one thing to me. If my kids could sleep through a tornado in a tent under the stars, they were ready for anything. It also showed me that God was there to protect us even in the storm. It wouldn’t be the last time or the last storm.
“Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.” \ Psalm 107:28-31