Camper at Heart – Let the Saga Begin – Part I

Camper at Heart

I am a camper at heart. I love camping, whether it be in a tent or a fancy trailer, and anything in between. My mind swirls with camping memories from my childhood. Fond memories of when I bought my first pop up camper will be forever engrained in my memory.

I struck it rich

I remember the joy I felt as I drove down to Lakeland from Orlando to buy it. I had been looking through the papers for something I could afford, and one Sunday, I struck gold and found the one for me. Nicole and I drove down to Lakeland on a Saturday afternoon, took one look at this beauty, and handed the seller $400.
Now you might be asking yourself this question – “What kind of camper, and in what condition is it in for $400?”
That’s a fair question and one that deserves an answer. See, you have to look at the big picture. You have to see the potential in the not so pretty things, and this was one of them. This camper was ugly, it was rough, but $400 later it was mine. It had all the makings for a great memory maker for Nicole and I. Consequently, it did not disappoint.

Hook it up!

I hooked the camper up to my minivan, and away we went, traveling from Lakeland to Orlando. Most importantly I had never towed a thing in my life, so this was a new experience. It was soon turning dark. No problem. The camper has lights, so everyone can see me. The only problem? The lights didn’t work. Hey, what do you want for $400 anyway? Right? We managed to make it back home that evening.
The next day we hurried home from church. I couldn’t wait to crank that baby up and marvel at its inside. Don’t get me wrong, the interior needed a lot of work, but remember, I’m also looking at potential. With pop up campers, you have to crank them up, by turning the handle. As you turn the handle, your camper opens up and expands. I cranked the camper top, pulled the beds out, and climbed in. It felt so good.
Well, the evening was coming, and I decided to close it back up. The only problem was, the top didn’t want to go back down. As I reversed the handle, one side of the camper started to come back down. Because the other side stayed in place,  it wasn’t moving. I reversed direction, sending the other side back up, hoping both sides would now come down together—no such thing. After a half-hour, I realized my new found love was not budging, and as a matter of fact, looked like it could catch any wind that came along. My camper looked like a sail on a boat. This was a problem, a big problem. It was stuck, and so was I. I didn’t have a clue of what to do to fix it.

I am still going.

The next day I took the camper to an RV repair place. Now picture this, I am riding down a major highway in Orlando from the airport area. I have to drive 35 miles per hour for about 30 miles on a four-lane road, one of the busiest streets in town. And, towing a defunct, malfunctioned pop up camper that looked like a sail on a boat, catching wind the whole way. After a painstaking journey all the way there, which included embarrassment for me the entire way, I finally arrived at the RV repair place.
Guess what they said?
“Hey lady, you might as well tow that thing to the back of our lot, drop it, and buy yourself a new camper because that one isn’t worth $100 or the repair bill you’re going to incur for us to fix it. It cant be fixed.”
And they laughed at me and walked away. There I was standing with a beat-up camper, my dream camper, feeling defeated and deflated.

There’s a lot more to the story.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the rest of the story. In the meantime, think of this – Jesus never rejects us. Jesus takes us as we are, fixes us up, loves us, rubs out the dents, and sets us back up again. Therefore, it doesn’t matter how bad we look, how bad we are, or what color or height we are. It’s what Jesus does. It’s what Jesus longs to do for everyone not saved around us.

Let’s pray.

Father God, thank you for accepting us the way we are today. Thank you for molding and shaping us to be more like you. Even when we’re stuck Lord, you still gather around us and love us despite ourselves. Thank you, God. In Your Son’s name, I pray, amen.

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