This weekend I’m going along as a sponsor on the youth group retreat at my church.
I haven’t been to a retreat for high school students since I was one.
In fact, the last one I went to was a disaster.
Don’t get me wrong, we started out having a great time. We played ping pong and watched movies. We sang and I’m sure we had some sort of meaningful discussion.
I love hot dogs. Always have. Reading The Jungle in high school never changed that.
I don’t remember how many hot dogs I ate that night.
The boys slept out in the annex to our church building, in the gym, and the girls were staying over in the main building. Our sleeping bags were all spread out in one big mass down at the front of the auditorium. Eventually, we all settled down and went to sleep.
And in the wee hours of the morning, I woke up sick as a dog.
If you’re the least bit squeamish, you might want to quit reading at this point.
I tried to lie as still as possible, with my eyes shut, breathing steadily, hoping the sickness would just go away.
You see, my family was new to this church, so I didn’t know my way around this building as well as our old church. I didn’t know where the bathrooms were, but I figured there had to be one in the foyer.
Meanwhile my stomach was turning flip flops.
Facing the reality that I was going to have to get up and find my way out of the sea of sleeping bags and snoring girls, through the pitch black auditorium, I prayed for a bathroom close by.
Either that, or well, I didn’t even want to imagine the alternative.
I felt my way down the aisle, then along the walls of the foyer. Thanks to the street light streaming in from outside, I could see a water fountain. Bathrooms are always by water fountains, I reasoned, so I knew I was close.
And I needed to be.
I barely made it. Feeling around, I found what I thought was a stall door and burst through just in time.
With no time to hunt for the light switch, I aimed for porcelain as best I could in the darkness.
Let’s just say it was awful and leave it at that.
Long before the days of cell phones, I managed to find an office with a phone and called my mom to come get me.
Bless her heart, she ended up cleaning the bathroom.
Since then she’s never wanted to paint anything pink.
I checked. We’re not having hot dogs this weekend.