The Reluctant Outdoorsman

So let me say at the top of this post that I am like my father in one very important aspect – I am not an outdoorsman. And that is incredibly germane to this evening’s topic. In fact, it takes quite a bit of doing for me to even go on a picnic and have a good time. But in deference to my three travel companions, I agreed to go to the grocery store and stock up on things that would be good to fix for lunch each day as we were traveling on our trip. Mind you, I have already been to Bed, Bath and Beyond to purchase $40 worth of cold packs that we just “had to have” to keep stuff cool on this trip. So I schlepped all this stuff out in my suitcase that just happened to be under the maximum weight limit by 1 pound – that’s right – 1 pound. I guess that it is better than being overweight, but let’s get real. Cold packs?

So we ended up at the grocery store in Red Lodge, Montana. We bought enough vegetables for us to eat every meal for the next week – but we’re only here several days. And then, there was hummus and the pretzels and the yogurt and the snack packs with crackers, cheese and meat. I could go on and on, but the surreal part is that our rooms at the resort didn’t have refrigerators or freezers so the brand new cold packs were of no use whatsoever. That meant that we ended up having to buy two large styrofoam coolers and enough ice to keep everything cold while we traipsed across the states of Montana and Wyoming.

Of course, after the humongous food bill, we weren’t going to eat fast food at lunch – that would have been too easy. So we found ourselves looking for roadside places to stop and eat our meals. And those places were never convenient – and inevitably every time I thought I saw a hummingbird, I realized it was a mosquito… They grow them big here in Montana. As you can tell, I’m not jumping up and down about eating out in the woods with billions of bugs and carrying large coolers halfway through the forest. Subway sandwiches would have been much easier – and not all that unhealthy. And… we wouldn’t have had to stop and spend almost an hour for lunch when we had to get to Yellowstone…

But the worst part wasn’t the food, or the eating with the bugs, or the shopping at the Beartooth Highway Grocery – it was listening to the styrofoam containers squeak and squeal in the back of the minivan for the more than 1000 miles we have travelled so far. It sounded like somebody was dragging their fingernails across a blackboard for the entire three days the coolers were with us. I was ready to jettison them – food and all, along the highway at some unsuspecting campsite. And I want you to know that I would like to be a happy camper – it just isn’t something that I am used to…

Now we are in the northern part of the Montana, near Glacier National Park and we are staying in a cabin, with a kitchen, where we have been the last two days. Yep – you guessed it – another trip to the grocery store to get supplies for breakfasts, lunches and dinners. At least the coolers are on the back porch – never to make it back into the cabin again – trash!

The trip has been a study in contrasts – the beauty of this area of the country – mingled with the crowds and traffic in the national parks. We have seen more birds and types of wildlife, including bison, than we could have imagined; and to be perfectly honest, we have stretched the bounds of comfort and tried many new things. It has been a learning experience. The verse for tonight highlights the wisdom of Solomon and all the things he learned and was able to pass on as a result of his intellect and learning ¬†experiences. We are told, in 1 Kings 4:33, “He described plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also taught about animals and birds, reptiles and fish.”

My encouragement this evening is that no matter where you are or what you are doing, God expects us to continue to learn about His creation. My prayer is that you will take every opportunity that you can to increase your knowledge and pass on what you have learned to future generations. After all, that’s what it is all about – honoring God and helping to lead others into the kingdom through their experiences in His creation. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

Comments (1)

  • John Schorle says:

    That is pretty funny abiout the coolers…I don’t think I could have taken it. I have to agree with you…Subway or some other local establishment would have acceptable.

 
 
 
 

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