“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7
So…this past Friday I invited my grandsons over to spend the night. A couple reasons: I wanted to spend some time with them, my daughter was recovering from surgery (she is fine, thank you) and this would give her and her husband a break, and my oldest grandson was spending Saturday with his grandfather and they were leaving early in the morning. So it made sense. I decided we would just hang out, make S’mores and do tent camping in the backyard. Great fun right!
Well two of them thought so. When it came time to go to bed…in the tent…my oldest grandson said he did not want to sleep outside in a tent. No Way! A little surprised, I asked why and got the following answer:
Yaya…there are cars racing up and down the street, and trucks and ambulances with their sirens and all the police cars with their sirens…and did you know that robbers are out at night…because robbers don’t rob in the daylight (said with extreme sarcasm) and there are murderers…and at this point I am checking to make sure my home has not entered a time portal and been relocated to Detroit’s high crime district…) But it gets worse according to my grandson because then he dramatically walked over to the sliding glass door, opened it and pointed outside with his hand and said: “And Yaya there are crickets.
Well then…what was I thinking! How could I possibly exposed my grandsons to the dreaded crickets? Which apparently are worse than robbers and murderers. So…being the understanding kind of grandma I am, I told him he didn’t have to sleep outside in the tent (horrors!) but that his brother, cousin, and I would be. And to that news, he gave a sigh of relief and an eye roll at our foolish choice to sleep in a tent.
And sleep in a tent we did…AND we survived.
The funny thing about all this is the simple fact that there is a commonality to most of the things he listed…they all make noise. He is not a fan of noise and while I live in a safe area in a safe neighborhood, it can be noisy at night. I mean there ARE all those crickets…
But this all got me thinking…after I stopped laughing…and I can’t help but wonder about all the things we don’t do and how we make up our own excuses on why we can’t do or attend certain events. And to be sure there are times we have very legitimate reasons for not being able to do something. But there are times when we just don’t want to go and we think we need to offer up a reason why. But here’s the thing: We honestly don’t need to give a reason.
How we choose to spend our time is up to each one of us. When we are young we should take the opportunities to try the new experiences offered us…like sleeping in a tent…in order to see if it is something we enjoy. But as we get older, and as we have added to our body of experiences, we begin to know what we like and what we don’t. So when an invitation is proffered to do something we have tried and really don’t like…it is perfectly ok to just say thank you for the invitation but I will be unable to attend. Nothing more is necessary. Same answer when you have a conflict.
What I do encourage is, and I say this to everyone, that you set aside your fears, and find the courage to be adventurous enough to try new experiences. They are good for you. They expand your knowledge. They give you something to talk about with others. They are good for your brain health as your brain likes new experiences. They are in short…highly beneficial. So, the next time you are invited to do something you have never done before, don’t let your fears hold you back but jump in and try it…you may find you like it. I know my other two grandsons loved sleeping outside in the tent and are looking forward to doing it again.
Just beware of those dreaded crickets!