Survivor – Backyard Edition

I remember our Sunday evening conversation vividly.
“What do we have going on this week?” “Monday night… plans; Tuesday night… plans; but Wednesday night we don’t have anything.”
It didn’t turn out that way. My sister came over Wednesday evening and we kicked it off right: pizza and swimming. Gavin was loving the pool and finally Michelle went inside and laid Madsen down for the night around 7pm. We started drying off and getting ready to come in and put Gavin to bed around 7:30pm when I tried to open our sliding glass door only to find that it was locked. Somehow it had clasped shut. Since we were swimming, our phones and keys were all inside. Panic time. Gavin and I held down the fort in the backyard while Michelle and Amy talked strategy with one of our neighbors. First, she tried to see if she could break in through one of our windows (turns out our house is more secure than I may have guessed); second, she considered a wire hanger to one of our cars to get our garage remote; finally, she drove them to my sister’s house to get her car remote to get an extra set of keys she had inside. Meanwhile, Gavin and I found ourselves stranded in the backyard entertaining ourselves and checking outside Madsen’s window. No sound was a good sign that he was sleeping blissfully through our ordeal. Gavin and I played kickball, he got his foot stuck in dog poop and I had to scrub it off in the pool, and we played a make-shift version of wall ball against our pool fence. At moments I felt shocking similarities to the characters in Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road. An hour and a half later the girls returned and soon Gavin found himself in his own bed about (albeit two hours later than normal). But my evening survivor adventure reminded me of a few things:
  1. We take for granted many of the simple things in life. I didn’t have my phone, my normal clothes, or anything else to read or pass the time. But I had a great time with my son improvising and making the most of the situation.
  2. We assume far too many things will always go right. I’m actually surprised things like this don’t happen more to us. All things considered, we were lucky that Madsen was already down for the night and slept through the whole crisis. Maybe we should hide a spare key somewhere.
  3. It often takes crises to bring people together. I think the last time we really talked with my neighbor was at Halloween. It was good for them to catch up. We’ve also been praying for the granddaughter of one of the elders of our Church recently and although I would never want their situation to happen to anyone, I have been proud to watch as the Church has stepped up to get on their knees and seriously pray together about it.
  4. Joy often comes in unlikely situations. Seriously, it turned out to be a great memory with Gavin. But I never intended this or would have planned it. In fact, the irony was that Amy needed to leave by 7:30pm to take care of some things. It didn’t happen, but we all created a fun memory.
Have you had any experiences lately to remind you of these things? Life often has a funny way of teaching (and reteaching) us the basics.

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Jeremy Jernigan

Speaker | Author | Founder of Communion Wine Co.