So we got a week or so away camping down near Newcastle during the holidays. The lead up had been pretty hectic, and I hadn’t been well for a couple of weeks, but we just knew we had to get away for a bit. Armed with three ‘negative’ COVID-19 test results under my armpit, we packed up and headed off.

Now, packing up to go away camping for a week or so is a bit of a job. Firstly you have to go over the van and check everything is ready to go. Filling multiple water tanks and gas bottles, as well as checking tyre pressures and all the electrics takes time. Our car has multiple connections to the van because we run 360deg cameras, Anderson Plugs for the fridge, 12 pin trailer connections for electric brakes, and a host of other things so you have to take your time and check each one is working as it should. After all, who wants six tonnes to suddenly decide it’s going to head off in its own direction as you head down the highway! We haven’t even talked about making sure the solar system is all working and the multiple deep cycle batteries are charged and ready to go.

After the van is sorted, then you have to check everything on the car. Emptying catch cans, checking fuel filters (of which there are two!), sorting out the airbag pressures in the rear suspension, and going over tyres (including the spare which, for some unknown reason, Toyota insist on installing up under the back of the car. Very convenient when you are stuck in mud out in the bush!).

We eventually arrive at our campsite and set everything up. Annexe, gas and water, grey water hoses, and power all get sorted out and relaxation begins.

Until that is, I go to get changed that night. It went something like this….

“Where’re my clothes”?

“I’m sorry. Why would I know where you put your clothes”?

“Well, because you packed them!”

“Why would I pack your clothes? Who am I, your mother!!!”

Now the obvious answer to that question is, “Well, sort of”. But, after 43 years of marriage you do pick up a thing or two about what causes problems in the happiness stakes and so the words are only spoken inside my head. I congratulate myself for being very wise, but I still have the problem of no change of clothes!

“Didn’t you pack any clothes?”

Now that question is a loaded one. Men, you know what I am saying. It’s the question where they already know the answer but they ask it just to drive home how wrong we are.

“You asked me if I needed any socks from the line. I assumed you were packing clothes for me. Besides, I was busy doing bloke stuff like checking tyres and catch cans”!

Now every problem has a solution. And so the next morning (after I went to the café and bought her a bacon and egg roll and made her a cuppa…You gotta back peddle a little in a good marriage!) I jumped in the car, drove over to Kotara shopping centre, and walked into Rivers. Five minutes later I walked out with two shirts (one of which is a bit iffy for a bloke but it was on the $5 counter so I couldn’t go past it), a pair of duds, and a jumper. It was a new record for me to get in and out of a shop!

There are days when we are so focussed on all of the ‘big stuff’ in life that we drop the ball on the small, day-to-day things. Like packing clothes for a trip! And the same is true in our relationship with God. We can be so busy doing all of this stuff that is so important and necessary, that we forget to just talk to Him. We run around checking everyone else’s ‘tyre pressures’ because we’re sacrificial and ministry-ing (I think I just made up a word) and forget to do the basics in our walk with the Lord. The truth is, it’s really easy to find yourself in a lonely place feeling that God is not all that involved in our marriages, our parenting, our careers, and work. At the end of the day, we dropped the ball, not God.

If you feel like God doesn’t have a lot to do with your life, maybe it’s because you haven’t asked him to be involved. Just say’n…

Have a great week. It’s good to be back in the swing of things.