Yes, we put a screen over the table now so we can eat without bugs, and even in the rain. We have a larger tent, and pull an extension cord in through one of the zipped windows to plug into an electric blanket and stuff it inside the double sleeping bag. Since we camp in the fall and winter that only makes good sense. So does the queen-size eighteen inch high air mattress—getting up off the ground is not so easy any more.
Keith designed and rigged up a PVC-pipe light pole from which we hang a couple of trouble lights, and we sit in our outdoor lounge chairs by the fire now, instead of always at the table. We carry a couple of wooden tray tables to hold our coffee cups and the books we are reading.
We have two stoves now instead of just one, but since they are only two burner stoves and you run out of room when breakfast includes pancakes and sausage on a two burner griddle and a stovetop coffeepot, that has become a necessity too. I also found a folding rack that hooks to the side of the picnic table to hold things like paper towels, antibacterial wipes, dishwashing liquid, and salt and pepper so we have more room on the table itself.
Yes, we camp “in style” now, but I would still never leave my modest home to do it all the time. Eight to ten days a year is fun because it is different, but every day would be a pain in the neck, especially considering the relative luxury I am used to.
I think we miss the first, and huge, sacrifice Abraham and Sarah made. Our arrogance tells us they were primitive people anyway, so what was the big deal when God called them? Here is the big deal: God called them out of Ur, a thriving metropolis for its time. One book I read said the city had its own educational system and some form of running water.
Abraham was a wealthy man. He had an entourage of servants that included an army of 318 trained men (Gen 14:14). Whenever he arrived at a new place with his thousands of flocks and herds and hundreds of servants, the kings wanted to meet him. Undoubtedly, they were anxious to know why he was there, and not a little afraid of the possible reason. Especially in a small city-state like Gerar, Abimelech had reason to worry—Abraham’s army might actually have been bigger than his! Imagine the home they must have lived in, and the status that wealthy couple must have enjoyed before they left Ur.
Yet when God said go, Abraham and Sarah went. They left a fine home in a then-modern city to wander in places they were only promised and often unwelcome. I imagine they “camped in style” for the time, far better than the desert nomads because of their wealth, but it was still camping. No more running water--even the kind they had back then--constantly subject to the weather, sand in your clothes and probably in your food if the wind blew wrong. Can you imagine Bill and Melissa Gates leaving their various homes to live in an RV for the rest of their lives, much less a tent? Do you think they would do it even if it were the best RV money could buy? Even if they had a caravan of RVs behind them, holding their most important employees? And especially if they had to do it in a foreign country less advanced than ours?
I don’t see that happening. Even with your less than Gates-esque dwelling, would you give up your own cozy bedroom, where you could walk a few steps to the bathroom in the middle of the night should you need it? Where you could stay warm and dry regardless the weather? Where you have places to store all your “stuff?” Where you have a job and financial security, and a place in a community that accepts you?
Abraham and Sarah had a long way to go in more ways than one when God called them. Yet God saw in them a faith that would grow and a trust that would never give up. He believed that with his tender cultivation, Abraham would become “the father of the faithful,” and Sarah the mother of all godly women and the “princess” through whom the King of kings would eventually be born.
What do you think God sees in you? Do you have that potential? He thinks so or he never would have sent his Son to die for you. Here is the test for today: would he have even bothered to tell me to pick up and go, or am I too tied to this world and its luxuries? He may never ask you to give it all up, but he must see in you a willingness to do so if the need arises.
If he does call and you go, God may allow you, like Abraham and Sarah, to camp in style, but it’s still camping. He expects you to understand that the real home is ahead of you.
So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:33