Have we forgotten what it is like to just have conversations with each other? Why does it seem that we can't just get together without having to be entertained by something? We have gatherings of friends and family that must have a purpose. A BBQ, a family reunion, a birthday, a holiday of some sort. We just can't take time out of our artificially busy lives to just sit and visit with one another.
Point in fact. For the Labor Day holiday, my family of 4 and some of our friends, a family of 5, descended upon another of our friends, another family of 5, who happen to live full time in a house on a small man-made lake in the Ozarks. This is the 4th time we have been up there this summer. It is the first time in over a year that the other family has made the time to go. Normally, we spend the time talking, playing darts, fishing, or just visiting. For this Labor Day holiday, we played games. Several of them. When we were not playing games, we took turns doing online game turns on the two laptops that made the journey.
Unfortunately, my husband spent most of the weekend in a dark room with a migraine. I managed to only have to play 1 game. Due to the burn ban that was in place, we were unable to conduct the mandatory bonfire the trek to the Ozarks generally necessitates. That was a shame. We always have some really interesting discussions around the bonfire. Usually involving differing quantities of alcohol. Evolution, werewolves, song titles, and dancing naked are some of the past topics. I missed it.
The Lady of the House and I did have an interesting discussion about biblical issues on Sunday. That is our normal religious debate day. Our hosts are Baptists, the other family belongs to the Church of Christ, and my husband and I are rather eclectic religiously. When we are there, we generally go to church with them. This is what leads to the lively debates.
The rest of the weekend was spent sweating, cooking for 14 people, 8 of which are teens or preteens, washing dishes, and gaming. We did watch one movie. But not once all weekend did I feel relaxed. My husband was trying to keep from throwing up, so he didn't relax much either. The kids all had a good time. But hey, kids still remember how to do that.
I still felt like a babysitter all weekend. You know what I am talking about...keep fights to a minimum, keep everyone fed, keep everyone entertained. And it wasn't even my house.
I would have liked to just sit around and talk. I didn't need to keep checking my email or ebay bids. I did sort of keep up with a couple of football games on Saturday, but even that I only paid half a mind to. I was more concerned about my daughter wearing a pair of torn up checkerboard Vanns with her skirt to church because she forgot to pack dress shoes. But you know what, I don't think God really cares what shoes you wear to church.
Anyway, my whole point was that we must be entertained at all times. We can't just sit and talk anymore. We have gotten so used to doing something at all times that even when we are supposed to relax, we don't know how. We have lost the ability to be still.
But sitting on the deck of the Lake House in the still quiet morning, drinking a cup of coffee before the kids get up, looking out across the water and hearing the birds and squirrels in the trees, I think that is about as close to God as you can get. That is the time that I don't need anything else to be at peace.