I am writing this blog from an unusual place… the back seat of my truck.
We’re headed to the Amarillo, TX., area for a week of camp with Paramount Baptist Church and company.
I usually don’t spend much time in the backseat on 6 hour road trips, but this one has some special circumstances. As the Addis clan woke this morning with great expectation for some time together, poolside fun, fishing, the blob, eating snack shop food, and getting to share Jesus with a crowd we’ve never met before, we heard the words no parent likes to hear: “I don’t feel very good.”
Wasn’t long after that we had… er… evidence?
Poor Nathan, he hates getting sick. I realize no one enjoys it, but this isn’t in his top 5 worst things ever. It is his top 1, and has been for a while.
So it started:
*”Lay down for a couple of minutes and see if you feel better.” – 10 minutes late
*”Take this Emetrol baby… Well, if it does make you throw up, you probably needed to (mom logic at it’s best)” – 25 minutes late
*”Try some crackers, they always make me feel bet… Oh, oh… Here’s the bowl… Use the bowl!” – 50 minutes late
After the clocked ticked past an hour late, I was still sitting on the living room floor rubbing his back. The truck was loaded. The students were en route. Camp was waiting.
Any parent knows this kind of thing usually passes in a few hours. By lunch he’d most likely be trampoline ready, and this sickly business just a not-so fond memory.
Still, none of that changes the present.
Being sick, sucks.
I mentally went over the options:
*Call grandma and tell her she has a surprise 5 day houseguest
*Unpack the truck and make a solo flight, leaving the family behind
*Have the little man suck it up, tough it out and make the trip
So, we had a little talk…
Opportunity, as a word, has its origins in a Latin nautical term denoting ‘favorable winds’. But, the root of that is an even simpler word for ‘port’ (the source of the English word port).
In other words, opportunities are like different ports of call. You can sail past them, ignore them, avoid them, be afraid of them, talk about them, pray for them, visit internet sites about them, but you will never experience a port/opportunity if you don’t sail your boat into that harbor.
Colossians 4:5 promotes the same idea:
Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward boutsiders, making the most of the opportunity.
Very rarely do opportunities come to you, as we like to say. We have to make something of them.
What port of experience have you been sailing around? What harbor holds a conversation you just won’t anchor near? What dock connects to the gangway of your future that’s just up the coastline?
It’s time to pull into port and make the most of our opportunities.
So, back to Nathan. I laid out the options for him and let him know that time was getting away from us. We had to make a decision.
I believe my exact words were, “I’d really like you to man up on this one. It won’t be a fun trip. It might even be miserable, but I think it’ll be worth it. Once this passes you’re going to wish you did the hard thing. I don’t want you to miss the opportunity.”
So, here we are. Seatbelt awkwardly wrapped around his sprawled out, lanky frame. Puke bowl on the floor board. Wet wash rag hanging on the door handle. Feet on my lap.
No more crying. No more gagging. Just sleeping.
Five hours to go.
I’m pretty proud of my little man. This could be a great opportunity.