"I have learned"
I had a very fun and special day with my Awesome and Amazing Kids last week. My son ~ who loves him some baseball ~ was invited to attend the baseball camp held by Adrian Gonzalez of the Los Angeles Dodgers. And you know I love me some Dodgers.
It was a very long day. We were up before 5 to make the drive to the high school where the camp was being held. And we were home shortly before dinner time. All in all, a full rich day. So I wanted to sum it all up for you with a few lessons that occurred to me. 'Cuz I like to do that.
It was quite a drive to our destination, and navigating has never been my forte. I had printed directions, from the Apple of my Eye and my mother. From him because I go to him for navigational wisdom, and from her because she grew up near the area we were going. So between the two of them, they decided on the best freeway combination to give us the best chance of low traffic to our destination.
In addition to printed directions, I had the navigational toy I keep in my car. I don't own a "smartphone" so this is the device I go to when I need some input.
But even with all that, I was so glad to have my Awesome Girl with me. She was really invaluable in keeping me on track, and even helping me solve a problem that came up when we were partway there. She kept one eye on the directions, and let me know how soon I'd need to get off, or change freeways. And when we had to make an unexpected stop, she found out how to get us where we needed to go.
The lesson? Working together ~ Ecclesiastes 4:9 ~ "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor."
The camp was held at a high school in the hills outside of Los Angeles. There were over 100 kids there, so they separated them onto four different fields, all at different levels on the property. After we got my boy into his group, my girl and I went back to the car to get some water, a book to read, and a blanket to sit on. When we walked back to the field where we'd last seen my boy's team, they were gone. The littlest ones were on the field, and the older boys had been moved to a different field. So we walked down the hill to the next field over, but none of those boys were ours. (Oh, and all participants had been given a t-shirt with their registration, so from a distance, they all looked alike!)
But from that field, we could see a third field, so we walked down to that one.
By this time we were hot, more than a little confused, and getting tired from carrying our belongings. We went back to the original field, and I found someone to ask. He helpfully directed us to the fourth field. One we hadn't even seen before. And it was uphill from where we are.
So, to sum up: down a fairly steep hill. Down another slightly-less-steep hill. Back up the slightly less-steep hill. Back up the fairly steep hill. Then up the other fairly steep hill.
And we were in flip-flops.
And the hills were made of dirt.
The lesson? The importance of proper shoes ~ Ephesians 6:14,15 ~ "Stand therefore... having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace."
As if the baseball camp itself wasn't adventure enough, there was more. We were invited to a luncheon immediately following the camp, for the companies that had sponsored the day. Relatively few of the day's participants were invited, and we were excited to be there, as we got a great lunch, and a chance to meet and take pictures with Adrian Gonzalez.
And the reason for our attendance? I have an uncle who works for one of the sponsoring companies. When he heard that his company would be participating in this event, he made it possible for us to go.
I was a nobody. Well, the three of us were. Three nobodies. Not famous, not powerful, not important. But we had invitations. And when we arrived, we were (literally) handed tags that said "VIP".
The lesson? It's who you know. ~ John 14:6 ~ "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
Finally, a lesson from Adrian Gonzalez himself. He's one of the best players on the Dodgers, and I'm willing to bet he had better things to do on his day off than hang out in the hot sun with dozens of kids. But he did. He signed things, he shook hands, he gave advice, he threw and caught with the kids. He had something to offer, and he gave of his time voluntarily. And my son will never forget it.
The lesson is about giving to others of our time, energy and wisdom. It's about teaching others, when we have the opportunity. We all have something to give ~ are we willing, when we get the chance? Just a few weeks ago, a friend of mine introduced me to another friend of hers. But she introduced me as her mentor. And I had no idea. I mean, she has asked me for advice in the past, and yes, I'm older than her, but I wasn't really thinking of our friendship in terms of my responsibility to her. But I should have been. I'm no genius, but I have wisdom she doesn't have ~ and she wants to learn.
Fortunately, I seem to be doing that for her, otherwise she wouldn't think of me as a mentor. And I'm thankful that He is working through me to bless her, but I also wonder if I'm missing out on those chances with others in my life. God gives us opportunities. We've got to make something happen with those.
1 Corinthians 14:26 ~ "each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification."
Every day has its lessons. Praise God for adventurous days with many lessons!