Posted tagged ‘Winchester’

The Large Changed To Small

July 24, 2018

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                           July 24, 2018

                       

It’s happened numerous times it seems! I’ve revisited towns and places of my childhood and someone has found a way to shrink therm in size in the 55 years or so since I last was there.

I noticed it first back in Williamstown, West Virginia. The streets had been narrowed since I was a kid in fifth grade living there. I remember the main street that ran through town being like a four lane highway. It ran between the community park and the grocery. I’d find a couple of pop bottles to turn into the store. The store would give me three cents a bottle, which I would use to buy a PayDay or similar sugared-up product. I’d sprint across that street, heart racing, since I knew it was against my parent’s rules. 

In my revisit, however, the highway (in my mind) had been narrowed to where now it is barely wide enough for two compact cars to pass one another going in opposite directions.

And then my brother and I visited Central Baptist Church in Winchester, Kentucky- the church my family attended from the time I was an infant to the age of eight. We were in that sanctuary three times a week- Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday evening- but someone had shrunk it. A new sanctuary has been built that must seat a thousand or so. We navigated our way through the building that has been added onto a few times until we found the old sanctuary. It’s been repurposed and abused into a youth gathering room. (There’s something weird about that, by the way! Maybe because what once was has long since been changed into what now is!) I remember the old sanctuary being huge, but when we entered it what was once a large gathering place of God’s place on Sunday morning now seems more like a worship closet. 

After church we journeyed around town and stopped at the first two houses I remember living in. Back in the day they were mansions, huge homes where a good game of hide and seek could be played involving small people. BUT once again someone had zapped each one of them with a reducer gun and turned them into Polly Pockets residences!

The perspective of our youth often gets a vision test in our adult years. Our view has been changed. The far-sighted imagination of our childhood gets replaced by the near-sighted skepticism of our aged eyes. What was larger than life becomes the small reality.

There’s a sadness in this change. Perhaps it’s the discovery that what was our “world” as kids, and the specialness of those times, now looks insignificant in the present. When we take our kids and grandkids back to those sacred places there’s yawns and indifference. The mansion we remember now simply looks like a small two bedroom house on a street populated with other small two bedroom homes. 

In another generation they will experience the same thing with their kids!

However, whatever the reality now is the imprint of those times will remain massive upon us. Who I am today is a direct result of how large those days will always be!

The Complications of Living An Uncomplicated Life

May 25, 2016

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                       May 25, 2016

                         

Just when life seems to be less complicated, procedures dot the schedule that make me bite my fingernails. I’m sitting in a waiting room of a medical building where Carol is having a colonoscopy. Oh joy!

She has informed me that I’m next! I heard it kind of like when the school secretary at Victory Heights Elementary In Winchester, Kentucky, told me I was next in the line of condemned students to see Mr. Sterling, the school principal with a strong forehand. I had thrown wet paper towels in the school restroom the previous day…and been caught! A night of no sleep had preceded my waiting room experience. I had tried to feign sickness that morning at home to no avail, kind of like trying to find a reason for canceling a colonoscopy!

Now Carol was looking at me like I had late homework that i was trying to turn in.

“You’re next!” her eyes shouted.

“ But what if I don’t wanta’!”

Not a safe and healthy response.  As Carol goes through her procedure, refusing to have one myself is not an option.

As we age life takes on a different kind of “complicated” to it. I played basketball with the boys on my seventh grade team a couple of days ago. As I climbed the steps from the school gym on the lower level back to the man floor my right knee protested. “Protests” by various parts of my body seem to be as numerous as protestors at Trump and Clinton rallies.  Acid reflux protests against the spaghetti with meat sauce I ate for lunch; my back protests at the bags of weed and feed I carried in; my teeth protest against the Enstrom’s almond toffee candy that I love to bite down on; and my bladder protests the amount of coffee I consumed, but then I’m the victim of a conspiracy protest as I stand at the urinal and can’t…you know!

Life is going down a different aisle of crowded and congested nowadays. When I was pastoring it seemed that each day was filled with appointments, deadlines, visits, meetings, and mad rushes. I longed for quiet moments and an empty schedule. Now many of my days are filled with…the complication of no complications. That means, I have so many possibilities of how the day might proceed, so many books that could be read, people that I’’m thinking about seeing, projects that I’m thinking about beginning…that I sometimes get frustrated for not achieving any of the possibilities. Dinnertime arrives and I shake my head over the fact that I wasted the day.

Don’t get me wrong! I enjoy the freedom of retirement, but I’m still adjusting to the life schedule changes. When you pastor for a long, long time everything revolves around it. Transitioning from ministry, many days, feels like trading in our Honda for a Schwinn (Do they still makes Schwinn bikes?). It’s a different pace that requires a different kind of energy.

Mondays used to be my day off. Now Monday is the day after Sunday, which has been the day…twice a month, I’ve preached at a small church forty-five minutes away from us. It used to be that Monday was my day of recovery from a week of ministry before starting the next week of ministry. Now Monday is the day I don’t need to recover. It’s the day I go to Starbucks at 7:15 in the morning, sit in my favorite seat at the end of the counter that looks out at Pike’s Peak, and write for a couple of hours as I drink a few cups of Pike Place…and then endure the protests at the urinal!

The complications of an uncomplicated life!

Carol is now out of her procedure and is giving me the look…the “You’re next look!” Ugh!