I was supposed to go camping this week. Unfortunately (for me), Fay had other plans. On Monday, I drove in the mist and sprinkles to Table Rock. This is about an hour from home and a wonderful State Park. Of course I packed the tent, some groceries, cooking supplies, hiking supplies and a couple of good books. My purpose was to get away and refocus some of my thoughts.
All the way there, I kept wondering if this was really stupid. I don't mind a little rain, and we certainly need it in this area, but tents are not a good place to stay in a monsoon. And if it was raining the entire time, I wouldn't get to do much hiking.
At this point, a little aside is required. I'm a believer in signs. I believe that when God wants to tell you something, He uses signs to speak to you. Not billboards or burning bushes - but of course, He could do that if He wanted - but little things. So I was wondering if all of this much needed rain was a sign that He didn't want me to go camping.
I missed my turn into the park and travelled west on Highway 11 about 2 miles too far. All of a sudden, I hit a downpour. I turned around and headed back and looked carefully for the entrance. When I entered, I headed to the campsites. I couldn't check in because the ranger station wasn't open, so I went to inspect the sights. I made a few mental notes and then tried to decide what to do while waiting on the station to open. I decided I could take a small hike, hoping the weather would clear - I hate the idea of putting up a tent in the rain.
Once at the trail head, the rain returned. OK, it was a good chance to eat an early lunch. As I got out of the truck, God decided to speak to me, clearly and loudly. In the form of lightning and thunder. And then more lightning and thunder. I got back into my truck and decided to think more about whether this was a good trip or not. After a few minutes, I went ahead and fixed my lunch, using the cab of my truck as my kitchen and lunch room (sandwiches aren't that hard to make).
Then I remembered part of my purpose was to read not just a book, but The Book, so I pulled out my Bible to read some. First Psalm 42 & 43 to refocus, then I wondered what was God's message. Well, using the concordance, I decided to look up references to thunder and lightning. What I found was that almost every reference referred to God's wrath or to punishment.
I have been accused before of being slow, but I'm here to say that's not the case. When God speaks to me, it only takes about 5 to 10 times before I get the message. So camping was not to be.
Instead I've stayed home this week and read my books. I've done a couple of honey-do's and relaxed and refocused from the comfort of my bed as opposed to a sleeping bag. I'm hoping to get a camping trip in soon, hopefully with no thunder or lightning.
Oh, I should also mention that on Tuesday, a tornado was spotted about 25 miles away from Table Rock. The same storm brought thunderstorms to Table Rock and some flooding. A hiker in nearby North Carolina lost his gear in a flash flood and had to be rescued. There were also mudslides in that area. I'm convinced, I was not meant to camp this time around. You only have to tell me about 5 times for me to learn that