Camping Essentials

Camping trips are a special way for a family to spend a vacation. When I was a boy, my family spent several vacations in Hocking Hills. We visited places like Cedar Falls and Old Man’s Cave. I enjoyed those times because we got to hike through the forest and climb into caves. Just talking about it makes me want to go back today.

If I decided to take my family for a two day camp out in the Hocking Hills area, I would need a number of things: a tent, sleeping bags, extra clothes, food, etc. Although some of us would like to bring more than that, only those things would really be necessary for our trip. If you have children you understand the difficulty of getting that concept across. The children want to bring the entire toy box and can’t understand why this is a problem. “But I need it!”

While it is easy to point out necessary items for a camping trip, do you know what is most necessary for the Christian life? I was reminded of the answer to that question as I prepared my message for tomorrow’s Children’s Worship Service. The passage is Luke 10:38-42, which covers the well known story of Mary and Martha.

Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Two thoughts spring out of this passage. The first is that Jesus is the most necessary part of the Christian life. Without him all else is meaningless. While there are many good activities which can fill our time, they must be viewed as unnecessary compared to the time we need with our Lord Jesus. The second thought is that we are easily distracted. No matter how disciplined we may be, there is always something that seems so urgent that we should skip our personal time in the Word and prayer.

Think again about taking your family on a camping trip. You pack the car with all the necessities: a tent, sleeping bags, extra clothes, food, and water. You drive to the camp sight and set everything up. But even with all your preparations, what would the family camping trip be without . . . your family. I think this a good picture of what can happen to our Christian life. We can be active in all of the “you are supposed to do” things of life and forget what is really necessary—the Lord himself. Take a moment to reflect on your own life. Are you concentrating on what is really necessary, or have you become distracted by things that are not?

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