Sunday, March 02, 2014

Camping and Forgiveness Vespers

Saturday night was the Cub Scout Pack camping trip.  Because of the job I had selling cars in 2012-2013, the divorce, and my bouncing around from place to place since last May I haven't been very involved in Scouting lately.  But for the last two months, since I've been unemployed and living in Sunnyvale I've become more active.   I helped Basil's Den earn the whittling chip, helped Basil make his pinewood derby car, judged the deserts at the Blue and Gold Banquet, and yesterday and today lead Basil's den (the regular den leader couldn't be there) during the pack camping trip.

The campground we stayed at had some really neat stuff.  There was a thing called The Mole Hole that was super cool.  It was a plastic pipe about 3 feet in diameter, 200 yards long, and tied to the side of a mountain.  The Scouts put on helmets, knee pads, gloves, and elbow pads and rode plastic sleds down the inside of the pipe.  The came out of the pipe at the bottom and landed on a pile of mattresses.  Of course, there was archery, arts & crafts, sports (Anselm took a vicious slice to the face from a hockey stick.), a campfire where the scouts entertained each other with skits and songs and where I told a ghost story.  Saturday night, after I and Basil and the rest of the Cub Scouts went to bed, Anselm stayed up late with the handful of other Boy Scouts who were there and played poker in the lodge.

This morning we broke camp, ate breakfast, and were going to go on a hike, but Basil fell into one of the rivers while he and some other Cub Scouts were trying to find physical evidence to corroborate the terrifying story I had told the night before.  I have no idea what they found, but they were all convinced the story was true by what ever they found.  So, since Basil was soaking wet we skipped the hike and just headed home. I got them to their mothers house about noon. and got them both bathed and into clean clothes. Then she got home from work, and I headed back to my sisters house for a nap before Forgiveness Vespers and the start of Great Lent. 

I have a friend who grew up Lutheran but now attends a kind of church I think of as a Rock & Roll church.  She always asks me if I get tired of tradition, and how I can stand being in boring irrelevant and unemotional services.  I always reply with something like "I find it very moving" and then tell her about the Gospel of the day or the life of the saint of the day, one or both of which I always find very emotionally moving and relevant.  Her responses make me think I am not a very good communicator. Tonight, at Forgiveness Vespers I thought of her.  The tradition is we prostrate before each other, one at a time (at my age and weight it isn't easy), ask for forgiveness, and give forgiveness with a kiss and a hug.  Is anything more relevant?  Jesus said if we don't forgive we will not be forgiven.  And with all that forgiveness can emotion not be coursing through our veins?  I don't know how many people were crying tonight, but I was one of them.  So, tonight, I was thinking about her and how, if there was any service that would disabuse her of her notions concerning Orthodox services this would be it.  But, it isn't my job to disabuse anyone of anything.  It's my job to repent.

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