Friday, July 27, 2007

Learning Opportunities

I'm having a little trouble staying focused at work today. It's because I'm very excited about this weekend.
First, I'm heading to Marcellus, MI with my dad this afternoon for some camping and fishing at Cranberry Lake Campground. We've never done anything like this before - just my dad and me. I'm hoping to make this a yearly event, and in a few years when my son is old enough to enjoy it we'll take him along.
Second, our friends Derry and Janelle are staying next door to us this week and I'm hoping to be able to hang out with them. I work with both of them, but we haven't had a ton of time lately to just hang out outside of work. Although on Wednesday we all loaded in the van and went to a drive-in in Syracuse. Derry and I ate breaded cheeseburgers!!!!
Third, I've got a special date planned for my wife Sunday night. Seriously, this is the most planning I've put into something for the two of us for quite some time. I'm really looking forward to it.
Fourth, Derry and I have plans to go fishing Monday. Also, maybe some time on a jet ski. That's one of my favorite things to do on the water and haven't done it since we moved to the lake.

I know this all seems like just a bunch of "here's what I'm up to" stuff, but I'm really writing this because all of these activities should be "Learning to Serve" opportunities.

First, my dad has already taught me a thing or two. I called him last night to figure out what I need to bring on our camping trip. Basically, he's got the whole thing taken care of. I could just show up with my clothes and a fishing pole and would be fine. The trip was my idea, but he's really taken that idea and run with it. He bought me a fishing license and is supplying all the food. He'll probably try to get me to take some money for the campsite (but I won't). He's just taken this as a chance to let me know how much he loves being with me and that's something I want to pass on to my son (and daughter and wife).
Second, time with Derry and Janelle teaches me lots of things. Laughter is always a big part of our times together, and I can't get enough laughter in my life. This couple is so entrenched in ministry that seeing what's in their hearts is always a boost for me. Derry has said in his blog that he's going to try not to talk about "work" but I doubt he'll be able to stop himself for long. You see, his "work" is ministry, which is his heart. So, we'll talk about other things but I'm going to try to get Derry to talk about "work."
Third, planning a special night for my wife has been a lot of fun and definitely a learning experience. At first I was all excited about the ideas I had and trying to figure out how to make them happen. Then, I reached a point where I just wanted to give up and take her to "dinner & a movie" - the old standby. But, I pushed through that and now have a pretty cool date planned. I've got to remember to push through when things don't sound so exciting anymore. Serving others sounds so great at first, but when you actually start serving it gets pretty dull. That's when I've got to remember to suck it up and get the job done. If I do, the end result will be very rewarding for everybody involved.
Fourth, the reason Derry and Janelle are living next door to us this week is because Neal & Leslie Yoder (who I've referred to a few times before) are letting them stay in their "guest house." The reason I might get to ride a jet ski is because Andy & Kathy Brown, who also live on the lake, have given Derry and Janelle unlimited access to one while they're staying on the lake. That's two great examples of selflessness. Those families have put others ahead of themselves just because it's the right thing to do and they love serving!

So, once the weekend is over I'll report back on any interesting events as well as lessons learned.

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