We have recently returned from our yearly trip to the lake with all the children and grandchildren gathered around us for a week of swimming, sunbathing and camping frivolity that will once again leave us with precious memories that will last a lifetime! For our family, the time we spend together at the lake is the highlight of our entire year. My kids were only youngsters when we first came to the lake and now they are coming with their spouses and children. Sometimes I wonder who is more excited to be at the lake, my kids, my grandchildren or me! It seems we spend so much time preparing for that week together each year, counting down the months, weeks, days and hours until we are all parked, unpacked, set up, and ready to relax. It’s ironic that we must “hurry up to do nothing” as my husband says.
One of my favorite things to do at the lake is to get up before anyone else and observe the campsite waking up. “Gustaff”, the duck, waddles past looking for some handouts. We’re not supposed to feed the quacker but he still makes his early morning round hopeful that someone will ignore the rules. The crows begin their morning conference call, and the blue heron sweeps into the lake grabbing a little bass fish for breakfast. An RV neighbour walks by me with his dog on a leash. He whispers, “Good morning” and disappears along the trail around the lake. The rising sun continues to spur movement at each campsite, as it radiates a warm greeting to those awake and those still trying to get in a few more minutes of slumber. I hear tent flaps zip open, the occupants yawning as they emerge from their canvas cocoons. The smell of coffee and bacon starts to waft through the air; I am already looking forward to the pancakes my husband will prepare for our clan.
It is my morning routine, as the campsite comes to life, to have my quiet time, read in my Bible, write in my journal, and pray. There are times at home, I will admit, that I struggle to focus and immerse myself in the Word as completely as I do here. It’s like I am entangled by my surroundings at home; my worries, daily schedule, and timely constraints that always seem to interfere with my attention to fully hear and comprehend His Words of wisdom. However, my time with Jesus here is unlike anything I experience at home. Not only does He allow me to connect with my family, storing up memories to look back on throughout the year, but I reconnect with Him as He teaches me, like He did so often with His followers by the lakeside, so that my spirit is renewed, and my senses are more attuned to His Creation around me. He beckons me to lay aside the troubles that I have somehow packed up with me to bring to the lake. This is no place for worrisome baggage from home. He embraces me with that peace that surpasses understanding. I sit under the canopy of weeping willows and maple trees and praise Him for allowing me this time of rest and relaxation that my body and soul so desperately needs.
“Grandma, are you awake yet?” My grandson runs across the road from the cabin he is sharing with his mom, dad and sister. He leaps onto my lap, interrupting the peace but causing my heart to leap with joy.
“I am!” I hug him tight. “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!”
“I guess.” He laughs and then grins at me mischievously, “Now, let’s go feed Gustaff!”