Pastor Mike’s Garage August 19, 2021

*Pastor Mike’s Garage, Aug 19/21*

Have you gotten over the euphoria of the camping weekend yet? Well, maybe
euphoria isn’t the most applicable word, but I did enjoy it! I won’t lie to
you, by the time I got home Sunday aft my tank was outta gas! I’m not sure
whether it was that I was in charge running around a bit, the wind, heat,
flies, lack of sleep, or the cold hard fact that I just ain’t as young as I
used to be, but I was wiped. Given the chance though, I’d do it again, and
I hope we will!

As most of you know I am an avid hunter. I enjoy getting outdoors, the
hunt! There’s something about supplying your own meat for the winter. I
enjoy processing my own animal, making my own sausage, and the other
various dishes we enjoy throughout the winter because of it. Ironically
though, one thing I am not crazy about is hunting shows. To me, most of
them are just a bunch of rednecks out shooting stuff, yehaw! For me, it’s
not just about the kill, it’s the whole experience, from hunt to table.
It’s about getting out in nature, the early mornings, the late nights, the
camaraderie of spending time with those I hunt with. Some of my most
memorable hunts have included many early mornings, late evenings, being
soaked to the skin, walking miles on end in heat, rain, snow, and dust.
They included blisters on my feet and scratches on my truck! The irony is
that some of my most memorable hunts did not even result in getting the
animal I was after!

One hunting show I do enjoy is called “Meat Eater” who stars a relatively
popular hunter called Steve Rinella. He takes his show in a decidedly more
philosophical direction as he takes a lot of time exploring the reasons he
enjoys hunting, the ethics of it, and the journey the hunt entails. During
each episode there’s always a meal he prepares with what he’s taken. In one
particular episode he talks about how in order to build memories, and
particularly fond memories, there has to be some element of hardship in the
event. As in, no-one twenty years from now will be sitting around a table
reminiscing about the time we sat around all afternoon, then went to bed
early. But throw in a snow storm, power outage, company staying because of
road closures, and a makeshift sparse meal, and there you have some
memories worth reminiscing many years from now! He went on to say that, in
fact, the memories quite often grow fonder in relation to the severity of
the hardship!

Getting back to our camping weekend, believe it or not, I did not
intentionally incorporate elements of hardship into the weekend to make it
more memorable! Weekends like that have a way of doing that on their own. I
would hazard a guess that there will be an element or two of that weekend
that will be remembered in the years to come! Pastor Dave Sr. compared the
weekend to the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles were families move out of
their houses into makeshift dwellings for a week a year to celebrate the
harvest and remember the Exodus from Egypt. I am a believer in camp
ministry. There’s something about leaving the comforts of one’s home,
enduring a bit of hardship such as lumpy beds, a little less sleep, funny
smells, bugs, a little harsh weather, campfire food, and so on, that
enables one to magically see life a little different! I have had some of my
most profound encounters with God in such settings!

In our efforts to lead comfortable, uneventful lives are we possibly
creating unmemorable ones as well? If our biggest goal as a church is to be
safe, comfortable, pleasing, unoffensive, and attractive, I believe we will
become ineffectual, irrelevant, and unmemorable as well! I’m not saying we
do things because they’re hard! There has to be a purposeful goal or
objective, but we do have to be careful we don’t limit our endeavours
solely based upon our comfort levels! Anything worth remembering comes with
a bit of hardship!

Pastor Mike