It has been a couple of weeks now since my return from the week that I spent in the Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. Having never been camping before in my life, several people have asked me why I chose to spend a week canoeing, portaging and sleeping in a tent. My answer was really two-fold:
1. First, I wanted to build and strengthen my relationship with other men in the church. Men, in general, struggle with building meaningful relationships in their life. I knew this trip would eliminate many of the excuses that we typically use for this shortfall in our lives – too busy being the major one. For six days, I had 15 rather uninterrupted hours each day, where there was little to do but interact and get to know the 9 other guys who went on the trip. I don’t get that opportunity in my everyday life and environment, and I am so thankful for it and the meaningful relationships with other men in the church that grew on the trip.
2. Second, I wanted to be put in an environment where I knew I would be made uncomfortable and stretched, in order that God might use the stretching experience and my weaknesses to teach me more about Himself, and therefore more about myself. As a child of God’s, I recognize that He wants to see me continually growing and developing in my relationship with Him and my walk as a follower of His Son, Jesus Christ. I also recognize that He chooses to use stretching and trying times to bring about my growth and development. Therefore, instead of waiting for Him to sovereignly direct me into a stretching experience, I chose to place myself into one. And I am so glad that I did as God chose to reveal Himself – specifically His awesome holiness, and areas in my life that don’t reflect that holiness. God revealed to me areas of pride and selfishness that I need to work on in my life, as well as the need to depend on God’s power, grace, and mercy in my life to an even greater degree.
Now that I am back, besides the responses of shock over the fact that I actually made it, several people have asked me a new question – will you ever go again? I’m going to let the answer to that question remain a mystery for now.