I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 (NIV)
Today, we made a spur of the moment trip to Busch Gardens. Youngest son’s girlfriend. M’s parents gave him an annual pass for Christmas and their whole family decided to go to the amusement park today. They invited us to come along. Since they are teaching us to have fun, we decided to go. (Note: Theirs is a family that really knows how to have fun. They host family gatherings with laughter, games and silly antics. In contrast, we are introspective workaholics. We joke that they are forcing us to have fun and we must endure it because they may someday be the in-laws and we will have to compete for our grandchildren’s attention.) Anyway, despite what would prove to be a cold, gloomy day, we bundled up (though not enough as we soon found out) and headed up to Tampa for a day of fun. As we went, I consciously set aside my tour director’s hat. I can even make fun work by planning and strategizing. Husband said I did a really good job of holding back and letting everyone else make decisions even if we did miss the Rhino Rally because some people lollygagged around in a shop until the line got too long to make the wait worthwhile. Humph! While youngest son and M. rode all the roller coasters, some two or three times, the rest of us enjoyed seeing the animals. The gorilla baby was too cute as he drug a tree branch around and swung it over his head like a majorette. His mother had this resigned look on her face. Please, just go play with your toys and let me have my breakfast in peace. I know that feeling. We saw the hippos and M’s mom and I broke into song singing the Hippo Song, “All I want for Christmas is a Hippopotamus” clear through embarrassing everyone else. See, I do have a little fun in me. Elephants, tigers, zebras, giraffes and all sorts of other animals were everywhere we looked and we enjoyed seeing them. I know how some people feel about zoos, but Busch Gardens does the educational component well and you have fun absorbing it all. Fun was what the day was all about. That and hot chocolate and finding places to stand out of the wind. I haven’t been that chilled in a long time. Nor are we usually so spontaneous and free spirited. When I called my friend to ask her to feed horses, she said, “You’re going to Busch Gardens? On a Sunday?” It certainly was out of character for us, but it felt good to let go and relax even if my fingers are still numb from the cold. Sometimes, I get all caught up in the rules and forget that Christ came so that we might have joy. More abundant joy. While I won’t be skipping church every Sunday, I will be keeping my eyes out for more opportunities to have fun. Like joy, it’s contagious!