I knew it would ‘getcha’ – the title, that is. It’s not quite what you think it is, but it got you
to read so far!
Alright, many of you might be tired of the stories from our family vacations from over the
years. But warm weather is here! It’s time to look forward to those family vacations! One
of our really faithful Integrity family members told me about a former pastor they had, who
each Sunday, or so it seemed, told stories about life that week in their home! I set out in
this pastor role determined never to be like that. But if I violate that, and if it gets too
unbearable for you, you have my permission to throw rotten tomatoes at me on Sunday
morning. Well… maybe not ROTTEN ones!
You know how it gets toward the end of the week on family vacation. If you’re like most
families, you’ve pretty much found most of the fun stuff, and done it earlier in the week.
By Thursday or Friday evening, you’re thinking “What can we do so we don’t have to sit
around this house and be bored?” (After all, there’s only so much you can say to each other
over the course of a few days anyway.)
One year, my son Jacob and my nephew Drew had the answer: Drew said “Hey, we walked
out on the beach last night, and there were crabs running everywhere. You could hardly
walk without stepping on one. There was a kid with a flashlight and a baseball bat, takin’
his swings at ‘em! I want to take a golf club with me tonight and tee off on ‘em!”
ggfgffWell, sounded like a decent idea to me – particularly on Thursday night after having done
everything there was to do on the island. So we headed out with the flashlights, our
buckets, nets – and the Ping driver carried by my sadistic nephew. We started walking
along the waterline where we thought the crabs “hung out”.
I try to be a big proponent of teamwork – I really believe in it. So you can imagine how
exhilarating it was for me when we all fell in line nicely with a role – working together and
playing off each other. The cheerleaders for this spectacle were Tammy, sister-in-law, Dee,
daughter Katy and then 5 year old Makayla, daughter of Drew.
So – there were son Jacob and daughter Hannah, the “spotters” who carried the flashlights
used to locate the crabs. Drew, the sadistic nephew with the Ping driver, and me – with the
$5 toy nets purchased earlier in the week for the little girls. Our job was to somehow get
the critters into the toy sand bucket, using the nets!
Perhaps the crabbing conditions weren’t quite as good this night as they had been the night
before – because I found that I could indeed take a step without crunching a crab. As a
matter of fact, I was able to take lots of steps without even seeing a crab (Surely my
nephew wouldn’t have exaggerated the after dark crab population of Oak Island, would
After a few minutes, I heard Jacob holler, “There’s one!” I jumped at the little booger,
throwing my net over him (or her – not sure of their pronoun….). All the while listening to
the cheerleaders screaming in fear (or delight – it’s hard to tell with girls) at the sight of
crabs running in the spotlight.
Now I had to figure out how to actually get the net under the crab, and turned so I could
carry it and dump it into the bucket. It was at this point that Drew and I devised an
elaborate (for us, anyway) scheme, in which one would dig his net under the sand and we
would lift together, to get the crab securely into one of the nets. We would then dump it
into the bucket – spoils to the victors!
Now the next question, which also constituted a problem: As the bucket continued to fill
up, and the crabs got higher and higher in the bucket – who would carry the bucket? Oh
well – that’s a topic for next week’s article.
By the time the 1 ½ hour excursion was over, we had collected about half a sand bucket
full of crabs. We had also walked so far in the dark, we couldn’t tell where our house was,
and we were …. lost!!!!!
Well, we ultimately found our way home, and that experience led me to think about a few
things. The first of those, I’ll share here, and the rest, next week. It is the value of TEAM!
The funny thing about that night was that we all naturally fell in to our roles that were
geared toward fulfilling the mission of catching crabs! None of us had to take charge in
telling everybody else what to do. We just knew! Nobody argued saying “I want to be a
gyyjygygspotter!” or “I want to be a catcher!” We just did it!
Why did it turn out that way? As I look back on it, I believe it was because we were
passionate about the mission, and that we had been talking about it all day (OK, maybe it
shows how bored we had become)!
HERE is the point: When we are really passionate about something – really passionate, we
are most likely to put aside our own agendas and work for the good of the people we are
with – the team! It is only then that things really work. I think this is a good picture that
God intended for His Kingdom. When we put aside our own agendas, and work together,
so much more gets accomplished, and more lives are changed!