I came across this picture on a friend’s blog some time ago and it reminded me of a story that I don’t think I’ve ever told here before. Are you ready? ‘Cause it’s a good one.
Back in the day, I was working closely with the youth group at North Roanoke Baptist. The summer after my freshman year, I helped to chaperone a mission trip that took us to Jackson, Mississippi.
It was a good trip for the kids, as well as myself. It got us all to break out of our comfort zones a little. During the trip, our main activity was to go door to door in different neighborhoods around Jackson and share the Gospel with people.
That’s not all we were doing. It wasn’t like we’d walk up to a door, knock, and just come right out with, “Why don’t you know Jesus yet?” We were there as a part of a much larger group of churches that had gathered to get a feel for the area from an evangelical standpoint. Our initial reason for knocking on doors was to ask questions as a part of a survey. From there, if the opportunity presented itself, we were able to share our faith.
But what does all that have to do with the picture that I stole from my friend’s blog so long ago? Absolutely nothing. It’s the event that happened on the way to Jackson that came to mind after seeing that little cartoon.
We had a lot of kids with us. Maybe by some standards, our youth group wasn’t huge, but to me it was kind of big. I had recently come from a church whose youth group consisted of about eight kids on a good week. We had two van loads of kids riding down to Mississippi that summer. We kept in touch through walkie-talkies, which meant that, as a chaperone, I got to have lots of fun with that.
At one point we stopped at a rest area to rest and find some refreshment. It was a very hot day in July, so I was feeling pretty thirsty. I went to the vending machines and bought myself a 20 ounce bottle of Fruitopia Strawberry Passion Awareness. Sidebar: It’s a crime that this beverage is no longer sold in bottle form. Anyway, it was hot and I made the mistake of chugging it. I should have slowly sipped as the drive to Jackson progressed.
Roughly half an hour down the road, it hit me just how stupid it was to drink that entire bottle of Strawberry Passion Awareness. Man… just thinking about it right now makes me have to pee… I’ll be right back… Just wait right there…Much better. Where was I? Oh yeah, somewhere between the moon and Jackson, Mississippi. So we’re on the interstate and it’s been said we’re only about 30 minutes away from our hotel. But something bad was about to happen and there was no way I could wait another 30 minutes. I radioed the second van and told Todd that I had a bathroom emergency and that we were pulling over at that moment.
So there I was on the side of the road with two vans full of teenagers watching as I leap from the passenger seat of the front van, bound over the tall grass to stand next to a barb wire fence and a bunch of bushes. You can assume from there what I did as I stood there. As I lost weight, I began to feel better.
Until an eighth grader decided to stand right next to me to do the same thing. Never mind the fact that this fence stretched for 300 yards on either side of us. Here he stands not one foot away. And, can I just say, I’m pretty sure he could have held it. Judging by the amount of time he was there, he didn’t have to go nearly as bad as I did. He was done before I was and he arrived after I did. Yeah, my tank was full.
Moral of the story: if you have to pull over to do your business, it doesn’t have to be a group activity.