We have all heard this term before - “Happy Camper”.
The definition of happy camper is actually stated as “a contented, satisfied, or uncomplaining person”; or, “a happy person”.
When I hear those words, Happy Camper, it takes me back to my childhood in the 70's and teen years in the 80's for some reason. I get this nostalgic feeling of peace and a perfect world that I guess I remember from camping with my family on vacations. When most friends I know think of camping, the last thing they think of is contentment and perfection. Any time I mention camping, no one I know these days think that's a good idea. They quickly make jokes of their idea of camping being a Marriott on a beach. Though I prefer Marriotts when I travel and love their same bedding at all their properties and standard of excellence, there is just something so alluring to me to be in a tent under a shade tree by a lake or river. I know I'm strange, maybe. A Mississippi girl really "don't change her ways".
I think this obsession comes from once as a child going to West Virginia camping with friends of the family in the most plush tents you can imagine. There were real beds, actual furniture in those tents; some even had AC's. It was fancy camping down this fantastic hillside on the side of freezing cold springs. Such great memories from that week. I have to realize that THAT is not what it would be like at Preseley's Landing, otherwise knows as Redneckville, near where we live. Still, that notion, I can't get out of my head.
Whether glamping or true camping, there are unforeseen obstacles that you wouldn't normally face like mosquitoes or bears depending on where you are camping. Also the inconvenience of bathing in a community bath house or not having air conditioning. I've actually heard it from multiple leading psychologists that camping is one of the best things to do as a family or as a couple because you are absolutely forced to solve problems together that you can't just get out of without solving together. It forces you to have conflict resolution. Gary Smalley says that it's the one common denominator of many healthy marriages he knows of. Wow! I keep telling Kevin, “Let's go camping!!!” But that city boy and "his" city boy kids keep avoiding the idea. My children speak of me being country as if I were from a totally different culture and country. Well, sorta true. The whole point of that rambling was that we have GOT to learn "how to abound and how to be abased" as the Bible tells us, to know how to have peace and joy right in the midst of whatever is not going our way, to not be moved by our circumstances and like Isaiah 9:3 says, we gotta learn to say “Lord, you have made me happy”.
So whether we are camping and burning up from no AC in the Alabama heat or we are going through life, facing whatever type of loss or disappointment, betrayal, or frustration thrown in our path that we did not sign up for, let us learn how to be happy campers. Really it's just learning to be happy ANYWAY!
“...we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NASB)
Let that verse make the eye of the tiger rise up inside of you and just determine not to be defeated, but to enjoy the joy God gave you! Happy Monday ANYWAY, Happy Camper!!!!