Thursday, August 23, 2012

That's why we love camping...

This past weekend we loaded into two vehicles and drove toward the mountains with the Baldwin family. My best friend from college, Luke, married Hannah, and they have two sons: Jed (2) and Barrett (15 days younger than Kaia). Luke and I drove in his truck while Suzy rode in the car with Hannah and the three little ones.

We arrived in the Snoqualmie - Mt. Baker National Forest after a beautiful drive filled with lively conversation. We found a great little spot that was a bit more isolated than the others. There was a river just down the way from us, and a big 'ol waterfall a short drive up the road which we explored one afternoon. 

I love camping. If there's one thing I regret from time to time, it's that we don't get out and go camping more often every year. There's something so therapeutic and restful about getting away from city life, busyness, electronics, and modern conveniences. 

There are so many things I love about camping: Sleeping outside and breathing in the crisp, natural outdoor air. Trees all around me. The lack of man-made sound. The lack of an agenda or obligations. Making fires. Sitting around them and staring at the flames. S'mores. Having deep, meaningful conversations while sitting around fires. Hiking. Exploring the beauty of God's creation. Feeling the flow of water on my body. Being dirty, and not minding. Taking in the amazing details of our surroundings. Being still.

Suzy and Hannah holding Kaia & Barrett
I think it's a natural thing when we step into the simplicity of God's creation that it's easier to view and understand life in simpler terms. I think of theology in the same sort of way. Because really, nature isn't so simple. There are so many tiny, complex intricate things that comprise it when you look closely. And theology, too, certainly has a lot of detailed, complex intricacies. But the beauty of it, in my opinion, is that theology always kind of circles back on itself and brings us to the simple, central message of the Gospel: we are broken, we need a savior, and Christ died to save us and be that savior. Nature has the same effect on me: I'm calmed in the beauty and simplicity, and then begin to notice all of the amazing, impossible-to-understand details; which eventually brings me back to the joy of the simplicity of my surroundings. And what a great environment to ponder and talk of deep, spiritual things, right?

So... we enjoyed ourselves. And it was Kaia's first camping trip, too. She was a champ. We all had an amazing time. 

If you haven't been camping in a while-- or ever-- I strongly encourage you to prioritize it. God has created a pretty amazing world. I think we forget that sometimes while enjoying the world man has created.

And that is why we love camping.

Suzy with Kaia, Jim, Luke with Barrett, and Hannah with Jed

Our campsite
Kaia enjoying the great outdoors!

Kaia finds Uncle Luke to be very intriguing...

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