Friday, May 15, 2009
R is for Rogers, Mr.
It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. The sun is shining just after a spring rain. The air is humid but the breeze is blowing just enough to keep things from steaming. As I sit here looking out the window of our local Border’s book store upon the bustling world outside know as Cool Springs, I am reminded that things used to be a lot simpler. There actually used to be less mortar and metal, fewer cars and construction, half the hustle and bustle. I vaguely remember simpler times, my parents remember more, my grandparents more so. Funny. What will my children remember if mine is a vague memory?
Sometimes within a generation certain people are raised up for the sole purpose of reminding us to slow down and remember those more intentional days. They are revered for their simplicity, not of mind, for often they are deep and profound people, but for their simplicity of lifestyle, their ease of manner, their humility of spirit. Often times rumors and urban legends spring up about such people. “He was a Marine sniper,” or “He wore long sweaters to cover up the tattoos on his arms.” Maybe such whisperings emerge to make a man more complicated than he actually is. To give him a past that makes our own pale in comparison. To make him larger than life and yet at the same time more believable.
Why is it so difficult to appreciate simplicity? Why is it hard to believe that a man could be rooted all his days to one calling and work out that calling in faithful and compassionate service? Possibly for the same reason that it’s hard to slow down. Possibly for the same reason that I have to hurry off in two minutes to do the next thing and be at the next place. It’s so natural to want to make things larger than life. It’s so very easy to get caught up in the tyranny of the urgent and get swept away by the next new thing or the next new endeavor. It is so very hard to not. So while I acknowledge that I too am caught up in the rushing current of life, several generations away from those whose lives were intentionally different, and yet longing for that same intentionality myself, I can at least be grateful for those near and far in my life that have in some way or other given me the awareness that I need to stop and take note of the fact that the sun is shining just after a spring rain. To stop and feel that the air is humid but that the breeze is blowing just enough to keep things from steaming. To stop and remember that it is indeed a beautiful day in the neighborhood.