Thought it might be nice to make a few random comments and observations about the Arizona trip I took from very early Wednesday through very early Sunday of last week.
1. Going to the desert for golf and being rained out isn't cool. But man is God sovereign or what??? I needed some of the rain time to work on my sermon. He is very good. He gave me family time with dad and uncles I love, and sermon work time, and a chance to see a beautiful part of the ol' US of A where I have never been...all for free. Thanks to the good ol' boys of McCoy Construction.
2. When I fly (which I haven't done for 5-6 years) I tend to feel like I'm flying for about a week straight. I still feel woozy most of the time. A few more days and I'll get over it. I enjoy the act of flying, but not what it does to me.
3. Cacti are huge! Well, some of them. I didn't expect that at all. You can see what I mean here.
4. Hanging with my dad and his brothers is a blast, even when they are being knuckle heads. For example, my uncle Doug asked me without provocation in the car one day, "Steve...so what do you think about cremation?" Sounds like a good question to ask a pastor, right? But he asked it while laughing, and so a long list of questions in a form of mockery ensued. "Steve, what do you think about murder?" "Steve what do you think about _______." It was funny. Sorry Dougie. Not picking on you.
5. We argued for 10 minutes about what it means to be lost. The funny thing is, I made up my own definition and told them I got it off an internet site, and they bought it! Funny. Also provocative. Some argued for a definition that means someone is almost never lost! Curious. I can feel a blog post on this coming soon...maybe.
6. Golf hurts your hands. On the 17th hole of the first day I hit a great shot very close to the hole, but in the process I burst a blood vessel in my left thumb. It still hurts quite a bit. You focus on things like skill and talent and practice. But just as crucial are things like callouses (or lack of). My milky soft pastor hands didn't do me any favors.
7. I realized that I have no desire to play enough golf to be any good anymore. I have the ability to be a good player again, but I realized on the trip that it would take too much time. Golf used to occupy most of my time and thought while growing up. But I'm happy that it occupies so little of my time and thought now. It's a great game, but it's no longer a passion.
8. Getting to spend time in Phoenix and Scottsdale, and drive through Tempe and Mesa, was great. (Though some of the time we were "lost" in these places.) I don't think I value traveling enough. It's eye opening in a number of ways. It makes maps into living, breathing places. It helps me to think about needs in new places. I should try to travel to new places more.
9. This is the first time I've been away from home for more than a day or two where I haven't felt a pit of loneliness while away from Molly and the kids. I was really able to enjoy my time. On the other hand, I felt just as happy to see them and enjoy them when I got home. It was all good.
10. If you have to work while on vacation, it doesn't really feel like a vacation. My mind is always thinking about what I have to work on, and I need an open schedule to enjoy time away.