Betsy and I went on our annual Easter Campout this week. Betsy is a teacher and I am a minister, so we both get a little burnt out when Easter rolls around. We packed up our trailer and head out to the wilderness expecting some wonderful experiences. We were anticipating sitting beside a warm fire, we were expecting to meet and talk with other campers, and we were hoping to be able to relax and enjoy a few days with nothing else to do except enjoy each other’s company.
Of course, things don’t always go as planned. First there was a ban on campfires. This was because it has been an extremely dry spring, and we were experiencing high winds. We hauled boxes of wood down there for nothing. And it was extremely cold. Too bad so sad, no fire allowed. Second, the campground just opened the day we arrived. That meant that we were one of the very few campers to be enjoying the week. Too bad so sad, no other campers to talk with. However, my third expectation was fulfilled. Betsy and I had a wonderful time together. Even though the nights were cold, the days were clear and warm. We spent time on the beach, did some bird watching and some wine tasting. In general we relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company. And that is what it was all about.
Everyone needs a present, and everyone needs a future.
By saying, everyone needs a present I mean that we all need to know that there are people in our lives that will be present when and if we need them. Everyone needs to know someone cares for them. Everyone needs to know someone will be faithful to them. Everyone needs to know that they are important to someone else. Betsy and I are comfortable and confident that we will always have someone present for us when we are in need.
But, here is an interesting question. What about people who have had terrible break-ups with spouses, friends and/or family? If your present has been blown apart by someone walking out on you, why try again? I have friends who have just recently walked out on their spouses. Not too long after that they walked into the arms of someone new. Why try again? If you had a tough experience living with someone, why take another shot?
The answer is in the second concept, everyone needs a future. All of us need to believe that things are going to be better. I think I am not exaggerating when I say that everyone has a set of expectations about their future, and they will pursue those expectations regardless of what has happened in the past. My friends have jumped right back into relationships because they believe that their new spouses will be faithful, supportive and caring. Of course that might not happen, but everyone hopes that it will.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). So why believe in God? First, because we all need a present. We need to know that someone is here with us right now who will be faithful, supportive and caring. And I can tell you from my experience that this is true. God has been faithfully with me since as far back as I can remember. And I know that God will never leave me. And that leads to statement number two, we all need a future. We need to know that someone is with us who will be faithful and supportive and caring into our future. The Bible promises that God will be with us forever. And the Bible also promises people who have faith, that our future will extend into eternity. Everyone needs hope that the future will get better. God provides that hope.
The next time Betsy and I go camping; we will be able to have a fire, we will meet new and interesting people and we will have fun. Now I can’t guarantee the first two items, but I can guarantee the last one.