When you go on mission trips (particularly where you are chaperoning a bunch of teenagers) you accept a few things. You accept that your time will be dictated to you almost down to the minute. You accept that you won’t be eating the fanciest of foods. You accept that “alone time” consists of those few moments when you wake up and forget why you’re sleeping on the floor. You accept that you will have to work hard to set a good example (I’m not a “setting a good example” kind of guy. I’m more of a “what can we get away with” kind of guy) You also accept that you will not be staying in the best accommodations.
What is difficult to accept is having a shower facility that is 25 minutes away from where you are staying with a bunch of teenagers that are working and sweating all day.
Twenty. Five. Long. Minutes.
For this particular trip we stayed in a church. I mean, it was a nice church. It was a nice big room that we stayed in, on the floor. All in all, I won’t lie that I was grateful to have a place to stay at all, rather than a tent in the woods as I know some mission trips provide. There was minimum air conditioning. And the carpet was ok to sleep on. Not the best, but I’ve slept on worse. But let’s talk about sleeping in a room full of 30 teenage boys. Let’s talk about how that really starts to smell by the end of the second day.
And as I’ve mentioned, the showers were 25 minutes away. That’s an episode of Parks and Recreation minus the commercials. If you’re not a fan of Parks and Recreation, that’s an episode of Community minus the commercials. If you’re not a fan of either of those, then I urge you to develop some good taste in television shows.
It’s important to note that we are all tested at some point. Personally, I was tested by trying to determine the logic of getting 60 teenagers together and telling them they couldn’t shower. Well, they could, but when you dangle “free time or shower “ in front of them, you might as well be asking them to be a mopey teenager in Washington State choosing between a werewolf and a vampire. (Obligatory Twilight reference for the week… check.) The shower, of course, is the vampire.
Granted, I’m a creative person. You see, they did have showers at the facility we stayed, the kids were asked just not to use them when the church was open, which was pretty much when they were in the church. However, hypothetically you could set your alarm for a certain time when no one is awake, and you could easy to slip down and sneak into said shower. Then you could have a few moments of peace and quiet, a break from the unique aroma of non-showering teenagers, a door that locked, and some hot, hot water.
This is all hypothetically speaking, of course. Far be it from me to break any rules.