A carload of us took off for Assateague Island to see the wild ponies running free on the beach, the progeny (as some suppose) of passengers on a Spanish galleon that was wrecked off Maryland's coast in the 1500s. When we arrived, our equine hosts turned out to be standing, not running. They posed near guardrails and ankle-deep in salt marshes rather than flashing their wild manes on the wind-swept shores that my imagination conjured.
Another thing my imagination had deceived me about was the fun of camping. I have had fun doing so in the past (unless my memory is lying about that too), but this time we had been far too sanguine in our vision of setting up a tent in bug-infested, steaming sand dunes. On the way there, we had even mused romantically about Tom Hanks' Cast Away movie, which, it now occurs to me, had the mollifying elements of an Aaron Copland-like soundtrack and a two-hour cut-off time to make his desert island experience bearable for us. (Don't forget the popcorn and soda pop.)
On the drive home (all sticky-sandy in my clothes because I went swimming in them, having forgotten my bathing suit at home) I thought about an encounter Jesus had with an unnamed man who declared to Him, "I will follow you wherever you go." My granddaughter was sitting next to me in the car, so I said to her, "What do you think Jesus said to that guy?" She replied that Jesus would gladly welcome him aboard, so I relayed His actual comment: "Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head."
I will never underestimate again (until next time) the sufferings of Jesus. Wrestling wild beasts at Ephesus and dodging bloodthirsty Pharisees from town to town is not bad if you can at least get away from it at day's end. It was good to sleep in my own bed last night. Following Jesus is not for wimps.