It seems to me that I long too much to be back in rural America. My dislike for cities is apparent when I reread things I’ve posted, or thought about things I say when talking to people. Just this morning, a fellow and I spoke about the way things were “Back in the Day.” He was raised in McDonough, Georgia. While now fully connected to Atlanta, he recalls when it was a small town, where everyone knew one another.
“Things were different back then—simpler,” he said.
“Not necessarily easy, but indeed simpler. And more cordial,” I said.
He mused about walking down the street and everyone he’d pass would nod their head or raise their hand just enough—the Southern Salute.
To that I raised the ante. . .. . . remembering how my folks’ first refrigerator had a small section inside just big enough for a tray of ice cubes and one or two other things. I told him how it still worked 50 years after they’d left the ranch—though it was relegated to the garage as a place to keep drinks cool. He told me how his little brother was driving without a license, and his ma was sitting in the seat next to him. A sheriff’s deputy stopped them, and clearly the boy was too young to drive. His ma explained the boy had a learner permit. The deputy said, “Be safe. Drive safe. See y’all.”
Them were the days.
But we don’t always do what we want; we often do exactly what we must do. Perhaps it’s a sense of duty. Or perhaps we truly hear the voice of G-d calling us to other places. The Bible is filled with stories of people who went where they were called to go, did what they were called to do. All despite of wanting to do, but wanting to do for the Lord. It’s not without rewards. . .
Here, in this life, as well as in the next life with Y’shuaJesus, there are the things that make it all worth while. Sure, there are days when I’d rather awake to the sound of silence rather than the industrial area behind the house in which I stay. But the other day after watering some plants out back, I sat for nearly half an hour watching two dragon flies dance above the pond. It was a beautiful sight as they darted to and from as if they were children playing tag-you-are-it. Then diving together in perfect formation like the precision flying of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds’ jets.
In evening, though too close to the city lights to see a lot of stars, there are lights blinking on an off in the woods in behind our house. They, too, dance a perfect waltz that alternates with a polka and the foxtrot. Always their lamps light up the dark shadows of the trees. G-d’s little fireworks show, and not just on holidays like the one coming up—Independence Day, The Fourth of July.
And the other day, driving on the highway, a pickup passed me. In the bed was a dog, his head stuck around the cab, the rushing air gluing his ears back. Can dogs smile? He did. So did I. It reminded me of small towns I’ve lived in, where every rancher has a dog, and the dogs love the feel of the cooling air rushing by their heads. It reminded me of the liberty of the rural life. And yet, it also reminded me that even here with The City trying desperately to gobble up the countryside, there are still cowboys. And where there are cowboys, there is liberty.
. . . your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:32-34