Thursday, March 30, 2006

A Different Kind of Spring Break

Its Spring Break week next week for the kids.

About a month ago, my wife and I began a discussion with our girls, now 12 and 15, about what our Spring Break together would look like. We typically have gone someplace for a couple of days, enjoyed being together, laughed, played in a pool. Just family time.

So, this year, we asked the kids what they wanted to do. Heather, our 12 year old immediately offered this suggestion. She wants to learn to snowboard, after loving our ski vacation last spring. Kelly, the 15 year old (after much sighing and eye-rolling about the completely dumb idea of her sister) liked my suggestion for a trip here. This idea was met with howls of protest from Heather, and a look of mild frustration from my dear wife (who, at the end of the day, knows better about most things in life, except pro golf and the finer points of PC operation).

And so, there you have it - an impasse. Typical team work by our family. Unity, joy, happiness. Complete agreement on all things. No conflict. Shiny happy people holding hands. Suburban bliss.

So, what to do? How should we indulge ourselves this year?

And then, a moment of clarity. Something completely different. No ski slopes, no shopping on Fifth Avenue. A contrast might be good, for us all, and even maybe, for our souls. We are going to spend our Spring Break -- in New Orleans.

My old friend, Pastor Mike, who I have mentioned here several times before, leads a church in New Orleans. They need our hands, our feet, and maybe our smiles, words of encouragement, and our love, however brief and fleeting. And come to think of it, we need them - the people of Canal Street church, the body of Christ. I think I need them more than they need me. To learn from them, to experience their world, to look in their eyes, to see what they deal with each day. I hope, I pray, it makes us better people, and more importantly, that our visit might be a cup of cool water to those in need.

Off we go, on Saturday. More soon.

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