Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Missing Commandments

Aside from having to repair a tire on the same day, the most distasteful thing I had to do this past Saturday at the Fall Encampment (see Monday's "Alone in the Woods with 2,000") was look through a storage shed at Salmen Scout Reservation looking for the Ten Commandments. Perhaps I should explain. For the past four years I have had the pleasure of leading a Ten Commandments Hike for the Southeast Louisiana Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Since 2004 we have had over 1,100 participants take the trek along historic St. Charles Avenue. At each stop along the way a religious leader or Scout leader would talk to the crowd and speak about one of the Ten Commandments. Since the 10 Commandments are generally recognized as the foundation of most of the world's largest religions, the concept is to reinforce the similarities between different faiths and to promote religious tolerance, diversity and acceptance under the umbrella of Scouting. In order to have a graphic reminder of the Ten Commandments, I made up ten foamboard cutouts in the shape of tablets, each bearing a Commandment. We've used the past four years at each stop and stored them after each hike in a room for safekeeping at the Southeast Louisiana Council's building in Metairie. A few weeks back that storage room was emptied in preparation for some new room assignments and the Ten Commandments were placed somewhere for safekeeping. Unfortunately, when I inquired as to their whereabouts, no one knew where they were and several professionals suggested they might have been placed on a truck that ended up being sent to the Scout camp located outside Kiln, Mississippi. The ranger in charge of the camp, Pat Necaise, and I both went through every box, locker and compartment we could find that afternoon. Nothing. Nada. No trace of the Ten Commandments. I sent off worried e-mails to all of the professionals yesterday asking them to make a concerted search again, but I was becoming quite anxious over the prospect of having to re-craft the tablets, each bearing Hebrew and English fonts. The prospect of at least 12 hours of work was looming large. Luckily, I received a call from the Scout Executive's administrative assistant within an hour and several e-mails back from others announced the happy news. "Ten Commandments Found!" read one. It's nice to know that even in the busiest or most turbulent financial times that I will be keeping (quite literally) the Ten Commandments from now on. And I can say for certain that I will positively be keeping them in my home. So, the Commandments are no longer missing and I can praise the Lord that they have been found. I am sure that the Almighty would remind me that the Ten Commandments have been around since Mt. Sinai and that I shouldn't have been so worked up over losing these foamboard representations. Perhaps my favorite saying about the Ten Commandments is this: God may very well have written the first prescription. After all, he told Moses "Take two tablets and call me in the morning!" The hike begins at 10 a.m. on Friday, November 28. It is open to the public. For more information go to
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