Monday, February 8, 2010

The Call of the Wild

College was a great time for me. Probably not the way you're thinking though. I was never that frat guy that went to all the parties. I really didn't date very much, so it was not the girls either. My sports career was nearly over after high school-- so nope, not sports. I have a couple great lifelong friends I made in college, but that is about it--I was never the super popular guy.

I enjoyed the freedom I got when I entered college. I enjoyed coming and going as I pleased, and doing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.

I was blessed to earn a scholarship from the State of Florida as I completed high school. I was doubly blessed because my dad wisely prepared financially for us kids to go to college, and generously paid for all of my tuition and books. What that meant for me was that I got to pocket about $1250 per semester.

I lived at home for free, ate at home for free when I was there, and had my medical/dental, etc. expenses paid for. I worked part-time at the local grocery store, and paid for my car insurance and gas, but had no car payment.

The extra cash led to some great adventures. I bought a dirt bike and learned to ride the trails. I bought fishing and camping gear. I bought guns and ammunition, and all kinds of fun toys men like.

One of my favorite things to do was with my cousin. We would leave on a Friday afternoon and drive his 4x4 north for several hours to a camp his dad (my uncle) owns. Once you reach the dirt road that leads to "Camp," as we called it, you have about an hour of winding, muddy, four-wheeling type roads to get to the actual camp site. All of this we did in the pitch black night. If you have never experienced this, you can't imagine what you are missing. The darkness is enveloping, yet the clarity of the night sky without the city's light pollution creates a sense of freedom from its sheer vastness. Thus began our weekend of campfires, and outdoor cooking, and hunting, and target shooting when the hunting was no good.

It as a simpler time for me. No real responsibility. No real bills. And, an hour's worth of nearly impassible roads insulating me from the world "out there."

Today, when the bill collectors are encircling me like sharks with blood in the water, and home repairs, and auto repairs, and the daily grind starts wearing on me, I can feel something inside of me long for the simplicity that was. Financially, it isn't feasible for me to go gallivanting around in search of adventure. To be clear, I wouldn't really want to go back if I had a chance. Especially if it meant that I would have to undo the choice I've made to marry my beautiful wife, or give up the tremendous blessings that are our children. It's not even a question.

But when life get's complicated and just plain difficult, I do wish for simplicity. And when the stuffiness of life crowds me, I do long for an adventure. Something inside me hears a call to go be "wild" again.

As I thought about this, I came up with a spiritual parallel. As a Christian, my old nature was crucified with Christ, yet that dead flesh will often rear up and try to convince me to go back. I love Jesus and would never go back on Him, but those old sinful patterns of thought/life try to remind me of "fun" I had, and call me to return.

Just as I am compelled to know that this is not the right time for me to spend the family's finances on adventure, I must master the sin that is crouching at my door (Genesis 4). By God's grace, I'll find rest and adventure when I reach Heaven's gate. May we all expend our energy on faithfulness to Jesus until then.

Grace and peace to you.


AmandaBeth said...

Some days, it is only that eternal perspective that gets me up in the morning. Good post.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jason, I think this would bless MANY. Can I repost on FB?


SandMan said...

You can repost anything you want anytime you want. Thanks for the encouragement, Eunice.

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