I am a huge fan of the family getaway. When I was a kid, we would cram into the back of the car (no seat belts), draw a line down the middle of the seat and fight our way to our destination. My poor parents. I quickly learned to sit behind my Dad’s seat so when reached around to get me he couldn’t reach. Some might have called me incorrigible, but I prefer strategic.
Once we got some miles behind us and the “packing the car stress” had worn off, my sister and I were allowed to split a coke and we started to remember that we liked each other. We have great memories from those times. Once we pretended we were from England and talked in an English accent while visiting multiple shops. “But dahling, Mummy would not like that. She prefers tea and crumpets.” Then there was the time Dad lost his bathing suit in the ocean and Mom had to run down with a towel to help him while we all busted out laughing.
Recently Carlos and I took the kids to a beautiful house in the Outer Banks that a friend kindly let us use. Wanting to make memories we brought the games and fun food and set the atmosphere for family fun. But the best memories can’t be designed, they just happen.
|January on Jockeys Ridge|
While visiting Jockey’s Ridge, we came across the most bizarre scene. “Um, Mom….is that a Tuscan Raider?” said Daniel, grabbing my arm and pointing. Just as I went to answer him, a dark and menacing figure started walking in our direction. Darth Vader himself was heading our way and I swear I was choking. The force is dark in that one. Luckily he veered left and began chatting with an ewok.
We were captivated. This assorted group of Star Wars characters began to act out scenes and professional photographers staged still shots. A cluster of curious onlookers hung back too nervous to ask what the heck was going on.
|(check them out at www.carolinagarrison.net/)|
Will and Daniel couldn’t stand it any longer so they got up the courage to ask another spectator, “What is going on? Are they filming a commercial? A scene for a movie?” The guy immediately started laughing, “Are you kidding me? These guys are just a bunch of Star Wars Geeks in a club or something.”
Hmmm. It had to be more than that. They were just…so serious. So I googled the logo on the back of one of the roadies sweatshirts and discovered they were indeed Star Wars geeks but so much more. They belong to a huge organization that suits up and contributes to their local community with volunteer and charity work.
These “geeks” were part of a much greater story.
We want that story, but we want to kind of fast forward the “overcome great odds” part. We (I) want the awesome costume, a little something to wake up and fight for, and we (I) certainly want to celebrate the victory. But man, the overcoming part is really hard. The victory seems very distant.
I’ll bet Joseph felt that way when his brothers threw him into the pit (Genesis 37). I imagine Esther wasn’t able to really enjoy the castle life while trying to stop the plot to kill her people (Book of Esther). I’m guessing Jesus’ mother, Mary, had moments where she went from hearing her awesome part in the Story, to wondering how it was going to ever work out for the good (Luke).
When you are in the overcoming it is hard to keep your eyes on the end.
Our example is Jesus…”who for the JOY that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
Our Joy? It’s found in the daily gifts of love God sends us in the beauty around us in Creation and in other people. But really, it is in the promise of Heaven that our joy is found. And the One that ensures the victory is seated there, strengthening us as we endure to live out our part in the greatest Story.