Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Father and Son Getaway

This last weekend, Jesaiah and I got away for a quick overnight camping trip to Joshua Tree National Park in the desert beyond Palm Springs. It was a great trip, just Jesaiah and I - we were able to do many fun things. On the first day, we saw 2 rattlesnakes, not more than 3 feet from our path. On the second day, we saw another snake as we were in a cactus garden, again not more than a couple feet from us. It's spring, so the reptiles are out in force to mate and enjoy the warmth.

We were also able to do some rock-climbing - Jesaiah surprised himself by climbing a rock that was over 2 stories high (20 feet or so up). He didn't think he could do it, but with a little exhortation and guidance, he easily climbed to the top and even more impressive, climbed back down (much harder!). We also did a lot of bouldering on some smaller and shorter boulders - lots of fun! We both loved that!

We also visited a huge Cholla (not chollo) cactus garden, a rock that has been wind-blasted into the shape of a skull, drove to the highest viewpoint in the park to look down into the Coachella Valley, hiked 4 miles round-trip to an original goldmine - all this and much more crammed into a day and a half!

But my favorite part and the main reason for this trip was to give Jesaiah undivided time for conversations. We spent about 4 hours sitting around the fire-pit, splitting wood for kindling, making the fire and roasting hot dogs, corn and marshmallows - all the while talking about anything and everything - both fun stuff and more 'meaning of life' topics.. Jesaiah learned a very practical spiritual lesson from the embers and coals. He saw that when he takes a red-hot ember out of the bed of coals, it soon dies down and turns black and cold. He learned that all believers 'burn' hotter when they stay together, but when they try to go it alone, they soon burn out and turn cold. He applied that to 2 of his friends from school who are Christians, but don't go to church and don't 'act like Christians' (his words). And we prayed for them on the spot!

All in all, it was a great trip!