Due to unforeseen circumstances, our regular Sunday column was not available. And while this article may not be the typical fare we run on Sundays, its message is worth heeding. God gave us life to enjoy, and whether your pleasure comes from out of doors or inside a sanctuary on Sunday, the Sabbath rest is just that — a time of reflection and worship, and a time to revel in all that God has provided in this world. The Bible says He delights in us — but do we delight in Him and this world He created?
To anyone who is paying attention to the signs, it is clear that we are indeed living in perilous times. The glittering crystal palace constructed by modern society was built on a foundation of sand, and that foundation is now threatening to crumble beneath us, bringing the whole towering edifice down upon us to bury us in its ruins. While the loss of the societal infrastructure that so many have come to take for granted may be a gigantic shock for those who are not prepared for the inevitable, what is most tragic of all is that modern society, with its overdependence on technology and globalization, has endangered all of this beautiful world that we live in. What was given to us to enjoy has instead been paved over or used as a dumping ground for all of the chemical filth produced by a society far removed from its roots in nature and the land. Living off the grid is sometimes referred to as an escape when actually this way of living is really a return, not an escape—a return to what is natural and real. It is modern society that has tried to escape from reality. It is so tragic because it has all been so destructive, but also so unnecessary, because what the manufacturers of this artifice have failed to realize is that the happiness and fulfillment they have been seeking was actually right there in front of them all along.
But in the midst of this ongoing tragedy there is good news. Despite the best attempts of those in power to colonize and control everyone and everything, God’s gifts of creation are still there, battered and bruised perhaps, but too resilient to be conquered completely. Natural beauty still surrounds us everywhere, and no matter how concerned we are about the dark storm clouds on the horizon, it would be a sin to not take advantage of the wonderful bounty that God has given us to enjoy. We were put on the earth to help each other and care for each other, and to have a good time while appreciating all of His amazing works. Regardless of our concerns for the future, we must not forget that life was meant to be lived in the present, and it is literally our duty to live in the way that God intended when He gave us this wonderful gift of life.
The Simplest Pleasures Are the Best
It is certainly no coincidence that the simple pleasures that can bring us the most fulfillment and satisfaction are the same practices that will allow us to continue to thrive and exist after the coming collapse. When we go camping, fishing, horseback riding, or rock climbing with our family and friends, we are only re-creating the way people have lived during most of humanity’s time on the planet. Even if you are currently living in a city, there are bound to be beautiful, untrammeled places near you. We are not talking here about the big federal national parks and other well-known tourist traps, but about the smaller parks, waysides, and public access areas that can be found just off the beaten path. And if you are fortunate enough to have land of your own, then you may literally have to go no further than just outside your back door.
Get a tent, a few supplies for sleeping and cooking, and take the family with you for a night or weekend of fun. You can fish if there is a pond or stream nearby, or collect berries or anything else growing wild. Later you can make a little fire for cooking or roasting marshmallows, and then you can sit around under the stars telling stories and sharing each other’s company. This kind of simple and uncomplicated mini-vacation, in a place where the calls of nature can still be heard and answered, is just the sort of thing that can deepen your connection with your loved ones, while giving you happy times that can’t possibly be matched by sitting around in front of a TV or watching the latest piece of mind-numbing pabulum put out on DVD by the Hollywood propaganda industry. In addition to its other benefits, trips like this one can also teach important survival skills. If and when the collapse comes, this kind of self-reliant living will become the rule rather than the exception; and even if you are lucky enough to have a shelter more permanent than a tent, the experience of camping can help your young ones – and you – learn some of the basics of independent, off-the-grid living.
Having Fun While Preparing for the Future
Have you ever ridden a horse? How about rock climbing, have you ever tried it? If not, then you have been missing out on a lot of fun and excitement. Horseback riding can give you the chance to experience a sense of freedom and exhilaration that sitting behind the wheel of a car cannot touch. And horses can take you places that are inaccessible to motorcycles and off-road dirt bikes. Horseback riding can be a terrific group activity for the whole family, and it is eminently practical as well. Mainstream authority figures are doing their best to hide the reality of Peak Oil from us, but when the era of cheap fossil fuels is a thing of the past, horses are going to become a primary form of travel once again, and those with riding skills will be ready and prepared for the transition.
Rock climbing is a thrilling sport that combines rugged excitement with invigorating physical exertion. If you have never tried rock climbing before, then you have never experienced the sense of accomplishment that comes from the successful completion of a difficult climb. But besides being another fun activity that your family can enjoy, rock climbing skills and the endurance they help you develop will be useful in those future times when self-reliance becomes synonymous with survival.
Enjoy it All
We need to be ready for the difficult times that are coming. At the same time, we must never lose sight of the purpose of life and our own existence, and that life is meant to be lived and enjoyed.