Dirt Roads

Today I took a short cut to Mom and Dad’s. I didn’t stick to paved roads following a line of other cars like ants… I took a paved back road to a dirt road.

I grew up 3 miles down a dirt road. Sometimes there was gravel on it. Sometimes not. When it was down to just dirt a hard rain would wash it out, like an old wash board, bumpy and rough and you had best use caution when you came driving upon that thing or you’d end up in a ditch. (Okay maybe that was just me.)

If you were a local you knew what to watch for: where the deer preferred to cross; who had kids on mopeds, 3 wheelers, bikes; where the elderly man lived who still preferred to cross the road to gather his mail (even though it was sloowww going and taxing to him physically).

That was back when neighbors just stopped by to chat because they saw you outside.

That was during the day when every small community had an annual picnic, even those way down a dirt road.

That was when you sent your kids on their bikes to go borrow sugar or eggs from the neighbors so you didn’t have to make that trip to town.

That was when we shared phone lines, aka party lines. Those were simpler days.

But we have come so far.

We all got private lines in the early eighties.

They sold our community clubhouse in the late 80’s.

They paved our road in the early nineties.

Tom and Tildy passed. Coxie and Lilah. Spud Welch. (They all knew my grandparents and my folks when that were kids.) Wallace and Margie. The Glasses. Carolyn and JV. All gone.

Over half of their homes fell in ruins. The rest were mostly bought by strangers. And empty, spacious acres were filled with others, new neighbors with no desire for community – just personal space.

And today then I saw that my placed road was turning to dirt I almost turned around… The chances of getting a flat just increased. Ughhh

But today I kept right on going and within a 100 feet I was filled with memories and a beautiful thing happened…I automatically slowed down.

No cars – nowhere. No people. No houses. In my mind I went back 30 years and rolled the windows down hoping to catch a whiff of the honeysuckle that laid over the fence rows.

There are some things we shouldn’t outrun. Family. Neighbors. God. Faith… And the ability to be still enough to embrace the blessings God has graciously scattered around us. The devil would tell us we don’t have time to stop and draw near to others or God. Speed up. Stay up. Keep up. I can’t find any references that would infer that Jesus ever ran. He didn’t belong to the clock. Time was a gift to be entwined with faith and used for our good and God’s glory.

So next time you think you need to hurry step back and… Don’t. God isn’t giving you more than we can handle/enjoy today. You are.

‘For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” But you would not,

And you said, “No, for we will flee on horses” – therefore you shall flee! And, “We will ride on swift horses” – therefore those who pursue you shall be swift!’… Yet the Lord desires to ‘be gracious to you… Blessed are all those who wait for Him.’ Isaiah 30:15-16,18.

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