Minister's Study

Ministering, writing, and wrestling in a land flowing with sweet tea and deep-fried food

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Teen Winter Retreat

January 24th

We found out why they call it a winter retreat instead of snow camp -- there was no snow this year! It seemed very strange to me to be playing games with the teens wearing just t-shirts in January, right on the border of New York State and Pennsylvania. But that's what we did. I took a teen from my church and one of his friends up to Tri-State Bible Camp for their senior high winter retreat.

The trip went well -- we didn't get lost once, coming or going. Neither of my guys got hurt, and I don't think any of the teens at the camp got seriously hurt (pretty good, really, when you have 70 people playing some of those games). The preaching was good, and I think my guys had a pretty good time.

I did learn, however, that I am no longer 16. See, we leaders jump into some of the games to keep the teams even, or to spend time with the kids. So I wound up playing some of the games, helping my guys out and cheering them on. So far, so good. Then there was some free time, so I was hanging out by the basketball court, watching a tall black kid from somewhere in New York tearing through the other kids. Then someone called out those fateful words: "Hey, man, you want in?" And of course I couldn't turn that down, could I? And you can probably guess who I wound up guarding and being guarded by. That game hurt. It hurt a lot. I really felt the two months I've taken off from exercising. Although my team lost, I think I hung with the guy pretty well, probably scoring more on him than he did on me. Then we staggered off for lunch, where I sat and glumly stared at my grilled cheese sandwich, unable to talk my stomach into accepting more than a few bites.

A few minutes later, I'm walking by the basketball courts, and the same set of guys are out there. "Hey, man, want to run it again?" The teams were different, but of course I wound up facing the same guy. That game really hurt. We won, but it was at the cost of all good feeling in my legs. All sensations coming from my legs were bad. Off we went for a service or something, played some games, etc. And then the big block of free time. And someone was breaking out a football. "You wanna play?" Well, I couldn't turn that down, could I?

And that is why I could barely walk on Sunday. Or Monday. Or today. Ouch. I've got to get more exercise. Excuse me while I use my walker to get to the kitchen for a drink.


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