Carter and I went to Las Vegas a week ago for a lacrosse tournament. He had 5 games over the Friday to Sunday event with teams from 6 different states represented. His first game was at 8 pm on Friday with 35 degree temperatures. The boys were warm running up and down the field, but the parents were all bundled up in their coats, scarves, gloves and blankets. Some parents even had personal propane warmers with others having plastic shields to stop the 30+ mph winds. Parking was difficult because of all the families and friends that had come to support their teams and in particular their sons.
The team did well and got beat 7-6 by the team who eventually won the tournament. What I was impressed by was the family support that stood on the sidelines and yelled and clapped and shouted words of encouragement to their young men. Siblings. Moms. Dads. Friends. They were all there in Las Vegas.
The second tale came in between Carter’s second game and third game. We had 3 hours to kill so I decided to surprise him and take him to the main strip of Las Vegas. It took us 30 minutes to drive there, but I wanted him to see what most people come to Las Vegas to do. Gamble and go to shows. I had told him I hated Las Vegas because of what the chamber of commerce advertised, “What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas” For a short time they had been promoting all the things that families can do in Las Vegas, but that was dropped rather quickly in favor of letting your morality go for a short stay in Las Vegas.
As we began to drive past the luxurious hotels, Carter made the comment, Dad, I thought that it would be a lot dirtier that it is.
It wasn’t dirty at all. It was very clean. Very attractive in fact. Very inviting. A place where you can leave your conscience behind and do anything you want, for what you do in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas. Or at least that’s what they purport. Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of people who go to Las Vegas and have a great time with shows and enjoy the eateries and limit their gambling, coming away with a great experience and wonderful memories.
I’m just reminded of two distinctly different experiences when going to Las Vegas. The first where families were huddled in blankets and winter coats, freezing their feet to support they family member, and others who came to a city that celebrates and publicizes the potential thought that whatever you want to do in this city, whether good or bad, can be done with no one watching and you can then leave the city and leave all that you have done behind.
God has a different perspective of having everything that we do have a consequence attached to it. It can be a good consequence or it can be a bad consequence. Paul says, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap the harvest if we do not give up.” Gal. 6:7-9
It was a wonderful time with my son with hopefully much learning taking place over the weekend. On this journey we are called to plant seeds that won’t necessarily grow immediately.